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Historic,  archived  document 

Do  not  assume  content  reflects  current 
scientific  knowledge,  policies,  or  practices. 

Yearbook  U.  S    Dept   of  Agriculture.  1913 


Upper  Figure:  WoodThrush(Hylocichla  Mustelina) 
Lower  Figure'  Hermit  Thrush  (Hylocickla  Guttata  Pallasi) 

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OF    THE 






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[Chapter  23,  Stat.  L.,  1895.] 

*  *  *  *  * 

[AN  ACT  Providing  for  the  public  printing  and  binding  and  the  distribution  of  public 


*  *  *  *  *  * 

Section  73,  paragraph  2: 

The  Annual  Report  of  the  Secretary  of  Agriculture  shall  hereafter  be 
submitted  and  printed  in  two  parts,  as  follows:  Part  One,  which  shall 
contain  purely  business  and  executive  matter  which  it  is  necessary  for 
the  Secretary  to  submit  to  the  President  and  Congress;  Part  Two,  which 
shall  contain  such  reports  from  the  different  Bureaus  and  Divisions,  and 
such  papers  prepared  by  their  special  agents,  accompanied  by  suitable 
illustrations,  as  shall,  in  the  opinion  of  the  Secretary,  be  specially  suited 
to  interest  and  instruct  the  farmers  of  the  country,  and  to  include  a 
general  report  of  t!je  operations  of  the  Department  for  their  information. 
There  shall  be  printed  of  Part  One,  one  thousand  copies  for  the  Senate, 
two  thousand  copies  for  the  House,  and  three  thousand  copies  for  the 
Department  of  Agriculture;  and  of  Part  Two,  one  hundred  and  ten 
thousand  copies  for  the  use  of  the  Senate,  three  hundred  and  sixty  thou- 
sand copies  for  the  use  of  the  House  of  Representatives,  and  thirty  thou- 
sand copies  for  the  use  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture,  the  illustra- 
tions for  the  same  to  be  executed  under  the  supervision  of  the  Public 
Printer,  in  accordance  with  directions  of  the  Joint  Committee  on  Print- 
ing, said  illustrations  to  be  subject  to  the  approval  of  the  Secretary  of 
Agriculture;  and  the  title  of  each  of  the  said  parts  shall  be  such  as  to 
show  that  such  part  is  complete  in  itself. 


Secretary  of  Agriculture,  David  Franklin  Houston. 
Assistant  Secretary  of  Agriculture,  Reverly  T.  Galloway. 
Solicitor,  Francis  G.  Caffey. 

Attorney  in  Charge  of  Forest  Appeals,  Thomas  G.  Shearman. 
Chief  Clerk,  R.  M.  Reese. 
Appointment  Clerk;  R.  W.  Roberts. 
Special  Agent  on  Exhibits,  F.  Lamson-Scribner. 
Office  of  Information,  G.  W.  Wharton,  Chief. 
Weather  Bureau,  Charles  F.  Marvin,  Chief. 
Bureau  of  Animal  Industry,  Alonzo  D.  Melvin,  Chief. 
Bureau  of  Plant  Industry,  Wm.  A.  Taylor,  Plant  Physiologist  and  Patholo- 
gist and  Chief. 
Forest  Service,  Henry  S.  Graves,  Forester  and  Chief. 
Bureau  of  Entomology,  L.  O.  Howard,  Entomologist  and  Chief. 
Bureau  of  Chemistry,  Carl  L.  Alsberg,  Chemist  and  Chief. 
Bureau  of  Soils,  Milton  Whitney,  Soil  Physicist  and  Chief. 
Bureau  of  Biological  Survey,  Henry  W.  Henshaw,  Biologist  and  Chief. 
Division  of  Accounts,  A.  Zappone,  Chief  and  Disbursing  Clerk. 
Division  of  Publications,  Jos.  A.  Arnold,  Editor  and  Chief 
Bureau  of  Statistics  (Agricultural  Forecasts),  Leon  M.  Estabrook,  Chief. 
Office  of  Experiment  Stations,  A.  C.  True,  Director. 
Office  of  Public  Roads,  Logan  Waller  Page,  Director. 
Insecticide  and  Fungicide  Board,  J.  K.  Haywood,  Chairman. 
Federal  Horticultural  Board,  C.  L.  Marlatt,  Chairman. 
Office  of  Markets,  Charles  J.  Brand,  Chief. 




Report  of  the  Secretary 9 

Bringing  Applied  Entomology  to  the  Farmer.     By  P.  M.  Webster. .  75 

Factors  of  Efficiency  in  Farming.     By  W.  J.  Spillman 93 

Promising  New  Fruits.     By  William  A.  Taylor  and  H.  P.  Gould 109 

HealthLaws.     By  Francis  G.  Caff ey 125 

The  American  Thrushes  Valuable  Bird  Neighbors.     Prepared  from 

data  furnished  by  F.  E.  L.  Beal 135 

What  the  Department  of  Agriculture  is  doing  for  the  Housekeeper. 

By  C.  F.  Langworthy 143 

Practical  Tree  Surgery.     By  J.  Franklin  Collins 163 

Supplementing  our  Meat  Supply  with  Fish.     By  M.  E.  Pennington  191 

Economic  Waste  from  Soil  Erosion.     By  R.  0.  E.  Davis 207 

The  Grain  Sorghums.     By  C.  R.  Ball 221 

The  Organization  of  Rural  Interests.     By  T.  N.  Carver 239 

The  Production  of  Beef  in  the  South.     By  W.  F.  Ward 259 

Hemp.     By  L.  H.  Dewey 283 

The  South  American  Meat  Industry.     By  A.  D.  Melvin 347 


Agricultural  Colleges  in  the  United  States 365 

Agricultural  Experiment  Stations  in  the  United  States,  their 

Locations  and  Directors 367 

State  Officials  in  Charge  of  Agriculture 368 

Statistics  of  the  Principal  Crops 369 

Animals  Imported  for  Breeding  Purposes  for  which  Certificates 

of  Pure  Breeding  have  been  Issued 514 





Wood  thrush  and  hermit  thrush Frontispiece. 

Plate  I.  Field  laboratories  and  breeding  cages 80 

II.  Field  laboratories 80 

III.  Field  laboratories 80 

IV.  Field  laboratory  and  breeding  cages 80 

V.  Camp  laboratory  on  the  New  Mexico  range 80 

VI.  Collecting  and  distributing  parasites  of  injurious  insects 80 

VII.  Banana  apple 112 

VIII.  McCroskey  apple 112 

IX.  Opalescent  apple 112 

X.  Lizzie  peach 112 

XI.  Flowers  ana  James  grapes 120 

XII.  Triumph  persimmon 120 

XIII.  Lue  orange 120 

XIV.  Boone  chestnut 120 

XV.  Robin  (Planesticm  migratorius) 136 

XVI.  Properly  treated    injuries,  showing  normal  healing,  and  untreated  in- 
juries, showing  normal  progress  of  decay 168 

XVII.  Removal  of  large  limbs,  showing  proper  and  improper  method 168 

XVIII.  Long  cavities  through  several  openings  and  a  short  cavity  excavated 

through  one  opening 168 

XIX.  Detailed  views  of  excavated,  bolted,  and  cemented  cavities 168 

XX.  Cement  cavity  rilling,  showing  different  types  and  successive  stages 176 

XXI.  A  damaged  cement  fllling,  types  of  uncemented  cavities,  and  cross  sec- 
tion showing  method  of  attaching  guy  chain 176 

XXII.  Views  showing  proper  method  of  fastening  guy  chains  and  bolts  and  im- 
proper method  of  attaching  wires 176 

XXIII.  Fig.  1. — Erosion  in  pasture  resulting  from  destruction  of  grass  cover.    Fig. 

2. — Erosion  in  Orangeburg  clay  loam 212 

XXIV.  Fig.  1.— Erosion  in  Coastal  Plain  uplands.    Fig.  2.— Erosion  in  Clarksville 

silt  loam 212 

XXV.  Fig.  1,— Erosion  in  clay  loam  with  sandy  subsoil.    Fig.  2. — Bottom  land 

ruined  by  sand  brought  down  from  near-by  hills 212 

XXVI.  Fig.  1. — Erosion  in  sandy  loam.    Fig.  2. — Erosion  following  abandonment 

retarded  by  natural  growth  of  pine,  shrubs,  and  grasses 212 

XXVII.  Fig.  1.— Terraced  slope.    Fig.  2.— A  well-terraced  field 216 

XXVIII.  Fig.  1. — Poorly  kept  and  broken  terraces.    Fig.  2. — A  system  of  Mangum 

terraces 2lfi 

XXIX.  Fig.  1. — Plants  of  different  varieties  of  sorghum  from  India.  Fig.  2.— Field 
of  kaoliang  curing  in  the  shock,  Harbin,  Manchuria.  Fig.  3. — Five  va- 
rieties of  kaoliang 224 

XXX.  Fig.  1. — Plants  of  two  Abyssinian  sorghums.  Fig.  2. — Heads  of  four  va- 
rieties of  kafir 224 

XXXI.  Fig.  1. — Seeds  of  grain  sorghums.    Fig.  2. — Plat  of  dwarf  milo,  showing 

pendant  (goosenecked)  heads 224 

XXXII.  Fig.  1.— Three  plants  of  Blackhull  kafir,  5.5  feet  high,  selected  for  low  stat- 
ure and  high  yielding  power.    Fig.  2. — Original  plat  of  dwarf  and  early 

Blackhull  kafir 224 

XXXIII.  Fig.  1.— Plat  of  dwarf  Blackhull  kafir,  August  31, 1911.    Fig.  2.— A  plat  of 

Blackhull  kafir,  August  31, 1911 232 



Plate  XXXIV..  Fig.  1. — A  plat  of  feterita,  showing  thin  stand  and  uneven  growth. 

Fig.  2. — Plat  of  selected  Manchuria  kaoliang 232 

XXXV.  Fig.  1. — Milo  seeds,  hulled  and  unhulled,  and  a  small  branch  of  a 
head.  Fig.  2.— Milo  field  in  shock,  Channing,  Tex.,  September  18, 
1906.    Fig.  3. — Field  of  milo  as  improved  by  selection,  from  4  to 

4.5  feet  tall,  slender,  without  branches,  heads  mostly  erect 232 

XXXVI.  Fig.  1. — Breeding-cows  on  pasture  in  Mississippi.    Fig.  2.— An  Ala- 
bama beef  herd  on  natural  pasture 272 

XXXVII.  Fig.  1.— Portion  of  a  herd  of  breeding-cows  on  an  Alabama  farm. 

Fig.  2. — Tennessee  steers  in  the  feed  lot 272 

XXXVIII.  Fig.  1.— Wintering  steers  in  the  South.    Fig.  2.— Short-horned  calves 

raised  on  a  tick-free  farm  in  Tennessee 272 

XXXIX.  Fig.  1.— A  Mississippi  raised  bull  calf.    Fig.  2. — A  yearling  bull  raised 

in  Mississippi 272 

XL.  Hemp,  plant  and  fiber 304 

XLI.  Details  of  hemp  plant 304 

XLII.  Different  types  of  hemp  and  seed  hemp 304 

XLIII.  Seed  hemp  and  maladies 304 

XLIV.  Collecting  seeds  and  retting  stocks 320 

-   XLV.  Cuttinghemp 320 

XLVI.  Breaking  hemp 320 

XI.VII.  Argentine  cattle 352 

XLVIII.  Export  meat  in  Argentina 352 

XLIX.  Live-stock  transportation  in  Argentina 352 

L.  Fig.  1. — Loading beefforexportinArgentina.    Fig.  2. — Short-horned 

bull  at  Palermo  stock  show,  Argentina 352 

LI.  Prize  cattle  at  stock  show  in  Uruguay 360 

LII.  Live  stock  in  Uruguay 360 

LIII.  Prize  sheep  at  stock  show  in  Uruguay : :  360 

LIV.  Cattle  in  Brazil 360 


Fig.  1.  Scarab  of  Usertesen  I;  2758-2714  B.C.,  giving  the  King's  name;  Kheper- ka- ra.  75 

2.  The  common  American  dung  beetle  or  tumble  bug  in  act  of  rolling  its  ball 76 

3.  A  portion  of  the  marriage  scarab  of  Amenhotep  III  and  Queen  Tyi;  1414-1379 

B.  C 76 

4.  Facsimile  of  the  totem  of  the  Illinois  Indians 77 

5.  Comparative  area  of  grain  sorghum  and  corn  in  Kansas,  1904-1913 231 

6.  Annual  acre  value  per  acre  of  grain  sorghum  and  corn  in  Kansas,  1904-1913 232 

7.  Comparative  area  of  grain  sorghum  and  corn  in  Oklahoma,  1904-1911 233 

8.  Annual  acre  value  of  grain  sorghum  and  corn  in  Oklahoma,  1904-1911 233 

9.  Area  of  grain  sorghum  and  corn  in  western  Kansas,  1904-1913 234 

10.  Annual  acre  value  of  grain  sorghum  and  corn  in  western  Kansas,  1904-1913 234 

11.  Annual  area  of  grain  sorghum  and  corn  in  western  Oklahoma,  1904-1911 235 

12.  Annual  acre  value  of  grain  sorghum  and  corn  in  western  Oklahoma,  1904-1911 . .  236 

13.  Cooperative  creameries  in  the  United  States 244-245 

14.  Cooperative  cheese  factories  in  the  United  States 246-247 

15.  Farmers'  cooperative  elevators  in  the  United  States 248-249 

16.  Farmers'  mutual  insurance  companies  in  the  United  States 250-251 

17.  Chinese  character  ma,  the  earliest  name  for  hemp 288 

18.  Map  of  the  world,  showing  the  location  of  hemp  cultivation  for  fiber,  oil,  and 

drug,  with  the  sources  and  dates  of  introduction 296 

19.  Variation  in  market  quotations  of  American,  Russian,  and  Italian  hemp,  and 

also  of  a  standard  high  grade  of  jute 338 

20.  Importations  and  average  import  price  of  hemp  for  33  years,  together  with 

changes  in  the  rate  of  import  duty 339 

21.  Map  showing  areas  of  hemp  cultivation  and  location  of  hemp  spinning  mills  in 

the  United  States 340 




MR.  PRESIDENT:  I  respectfully  present  my  report  for 
the  Department  of  Agriculture  for  the  year  1913.  I 
shall  deal  as  briefly  as  possible  with  the  business  of  the  de- 
partment, point  out  the  changes  in  organization  that  have 
been  made,  summarize  the  more  important  results  and  de- 
velopments, and  indicate  the  recommendations  submitted  to 
Congress  for  action. 

Those  interested  in  the  details  of  the  work  of  the  several 
bureaus  and  divisions  will  find  in  the  reports  from  the  several 
officers  full  and  detailed  information. 


The  scope  of  the  activities  of  the  department  is  constantly 
increasing.  When  the  department  was  first  organized  and 
for  a  number  of  years  thereafter  its  work  was  confined 
largely  to  matters  directly  affecting  agriculture.  Later,  the 
Weather  Bureau  and  the  Forest  Service  were  transferred  to 
the  department,  and  more  recent  legislation  has  charged  the 
department  with  the  enforcement  of  numerous  regulatory 
laws,  including  those  relating  to  meat  inspection,  animal 
and  plant  quarantine,  foods  and  drugs,  game  and  migratory 
birds,  seed  adulteration,  insecticides  and  fungicides,  the 
manufacture  of  vaccines  and  viruses,  etc.,  many  of  which 
have  only  an  indirect  bearing  on  agriculture.  Its  activities 
now  affect  not  only  those  living  in  rural  communities  but 
urban  dwellers  as  well;  so  it  can  be  said  that  the  work  of  the 
department  at  the  present  time  concerns  directly  or  indirectly 
all  the  people. 


To  carry  on  the  work  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture 
during  the  fiscal  year  ended  June  30,  1913,  Congress  appro- 
priated $16,651,496  for  ordinary  expenses,  in  addition  to 


10  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

which  permanent  annual  appropriations,  special  appro- 
priations, and  balances  from  prior  years  amounting  to 
$8,303,412.68were  available,  making  a  total  of  $24,954,908.68. 
The  total  funds  which  have  been  or  will  be  returned  to 
the  Treasury  as  unexpended  balances  of  appropriations  and 
miscellaneous  receipts  aggregate  $3,132,303.82.  Of  this 
amount,  there  was  received  during  the  fiscal  year  ended 
June  30  last,  from  the  sale  of  timber,  for  grazing,  con- 
demned property,  etc.,  $2,449,287.66,  which  has  been  depos- 
ited in  the  Treasury  as  miscellaneous  receipts  and  can  not  be 
used  unless  reappropriated  by  Congress. 


The  present  appropriations  for  work  of  a  regulatory 
nature  or  only  indirectly  affecting  agriculture  constitute 
about  three-fifths  of  the  total  funds  of  the  department,  or 
approximately  $15,000,000,  leaving  two-fifths,  or  $9,000,000, 
available  for  scientific  research,  experiments,  and  demon- 
stration work  directly  affecting  the  farmer.  While  it  would 
be  difficult  to  segregate  the  funds  which  are  used  for  purely 
demonstration  work,  because  of  its  close  relation  in  many 
instances  to  investigational  work,  it  is  safe  to  say  that  more 
than  $1,000,000  is  devoted  to  such  work. 


In  the  estimates  for  the  next  fiscal  year  I  have  recom- 
mended an  increase  in  the  appropriations  for  the  department 
of  $1,074,387.     The  principal  items  in  this  increase  are: 

For  extending  the  work  of  eradicating  animal  diseases, 
the  enlargement  of  the  work  in  feeding  and  breeding  live 
stock,  for  dairying,  and  for  enlarging  and  enforcing  the 
meat-inspection  law,  $250,860. 

For  the  extension  of  investigations  in  connection  with  the 
introduction  and  breeding  of  new  plants,  the  study  and 
control  of  plant  diseases,  and  the  improvement  of  crop 
production  with  particular  reference  to  cereals,  $45,660. 

For  the  classification  of  agricultural  lands  and  the  survey 
of  forest  homesteads  on  the  national  forests,  $143,577. 

For  extending  the  investigations  of  the  handling,  shipping, 
and  storing  of  poultry,  eggs,  and  fish,  which  are  carried  on  in 

Report  of  the  Secretary.  11 

connection  with  the  enforcement  of  the  food  and  drugs 
act,  $60,441. 

For  enlarging  the  investigation  of  fertilizer  resources,  soil- 
fertility  investigations,  and  investigations  of  the  chemical 
and  physical  properties  of  soils,  $24,420. 

For  extending  investigations  in  connection  with  insects 
attacking  deciduous  fruits,  cereals,  forage  crops,  and  forest 
trees,  $71,000. 

For  the  enforcement  of  the  migratory  bird  law,  $90,000. 

For  increasing  the  accuracy  of  crop  forecasts  and  esti- 
mates, $57,000. 

For  extending  the  study  of  road  management  and  investi- 
gations of  road  construction  and  maintenance,  $113,550. 

For  investigations  of  the  marketing  and  distribution  of 
farm  products,  $144,000. 

For  the  inauguration  of  live-stock  and  crop  demonstra- 
tions in  the  sugar-cane  and  cotton  areas  of  Louisiana, 

A  recommendation  has  been  made  for  the  discontinuance 
of  the  present  method  of  congressional  seed  distribution  and 
the  substitution  of  constructive  work  in  the  securing  and 
distributing  of  new  and  valuable  seeds  and  plants.  This 
work  can  be  done  at  a  decreased  cost  of  $146,000. 

By  reorganizations  in  the  work  of  the  Weather  Bureau  a 
saving  of  $37,340  can  be  effected,  and  yet  the  efficiency  of 
the  work  can  be  increased.  A  decrease  of  the  amount  indi- 
cated has  been  recommended  accordingly. 


An  important  change  in  the  system  of  handling  the  fiscal 
affairs  and  methods  of  accounting  in  the  department  was 
effected  toward  the  close  of  the  year.  The  change  so  far 
is  proving  very  satisfactory,  and  is  resulting  in  great  economy 
in  time  and  money. 

A  further  change  has  been  made.  The  administrative 
audit  of  accounts,  formerly  made  in  the  Division  of  Accounts 
and  Disbursements,  has  been  transferred  to  the  several 
bureaus.  This  change  was  made  necessary  by  a  provision 
in  the  act  of  August  23,  1912  (37  Stat.,  p.  375).  The  head 
of  each  bureau  is  now  held  responsible  for  the  accuracy  of 
accounts  arising  in  his  bureau. 

12  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

Under  the  revised  system  of  accounting  the  classification 
of  expenditures  according  to  their  character,  which  was  one 
of  the  features  of  the  system  inaugurated  by  the  Commission 
on  Economy  and  Efficiency,  has  been  retained,  but  in  a  sim- 
plified form.  The  budget  plan  recommended  by  the  com- 
mission is  used  to  a  considerable  extent  in  preparing  the 
annual  estimates.  The  various  supervising  officers  estimate 
the  amounts  which  will  be  needed  for  the  various  items  of 
expenditure,  including  salaries,  travel,  station  and  field 
expenses,  equipment,  apparatus,  stationery,  furniture,  rent, 
freight,  fuel,  etc.,  and  from  these  estimates  the  total  funds 
which  will  be  required  for  each  line  of  work  or  activity  are 


The  securing  of  men  of  the  requisite  training  and  experience 
in  the  various  fields  of  agricultural  science  has  been  one  of 
the  serious  problems  which  for  some  time  has  confronted 
the  department.  Two  causes  have  tended  to  bring  about 
this  situation.  One  has  been  the  low  maximum  salary 
which  the  department  is  permitted  to  pay  to  its  scientific 
investigators  as  compared  with  the  salaries  paid  by  outside 
institutions  and  commercial  concerns.  The  other  has  been 
the  comparatively  small  number  of  strong,  virile  men  who 
have  been  trained  in  scientific  agriculture.  Because  of  the 
great  demand  for  such  men  in  this  country  and  abroad,  the 
department  is  constantly  losing  men  whom  it  ought  to  keep, 
and  it  is  unable  to  find  an  adequate  supply  of  just  the  right 
type  of  man  to  replace  them.  With  the  growing  demands 
for  men  trained  in  the  newer  fields  of  rural  economics,  rural 
sanitation,  marketing,  cooperation,  and  similar  subjects, 
the  situation  is  becoming  acute. 

Under  the  present  law  the  maximum  salary  which  can  be 
paid  is  $4,000.  Many  of  the  leaders  in  the  department  are 
men  who  could  command  salaries  in  many  cases  more  than 
twice  what  they  are  receiving,  but  who  remain  because  of 
their  interest  in  the  work.  It  is  only  fair  to  such  men  that 
the  department  should  be  in  a  position  to  recognize  their 
services  to  the  country  in  a  substantial  way. 

The  department  has  consistently  maintained  that  its 
scientific  work  would  be  seriously  handicapped  by  the  crea- 
tion of  fixed  or  statutory  positions  for  its  scientific  investi- 

Report  of  the  Secretary.  13 

gators,  and  that  a  system  of  fixed  salaries  would  cause  it 
to  lose  many  men  because  of  the  great  demand  for  their 
services  on  the  outside.  Authority  is  now  vested  in  the 
Secretary  to  make  promotions  of  employees  engaged  in 
scientific  and  technical  work  from  time  to  time.  Great  care 
has  been  exercised  to  prevent  abuse  of  this  authority,  and 
the  plan  has  proved  extremely  satisfactory  as  well  as  econom- 
ical. Practically  all  of  the  clerical  and  subclerical  employees 
of  the  department  are  on  the  statutory  roll,  and  no  par- 
ticular difficulty  has  been  experienced  under  the  system  of 
fixed  salaries. 


There  were  14,478  employees  in  the  department  on  July 
1,  1913.  Of  these,  2,924  were  employed  in  Washington  and 
11,554  outside  of  Washington.  Of  the  entire  force,  1,812 
were  engaged  in  scientific  investigations  and  research,  1,323 
in  demonstration  and  extension  work,  687  in  administrative 
and  supervisory  work,  6,021  in  regulatory  and  related  work, 
and  4,635  were  clerks  and  employees  below  the  grade  of 
clerk.  One  thousand  one  hundred  and  thirty-four  proba- 
tional  appointments  in  the  classified  service  (positions  sub- 
ject to  examination),  153  reinstatements,  and  83  transfers 
from  other  departments  were  made  during  the  past  year. 
There  were  2,699  promotions  and  113  reductions  in  salaries. 
The  resignations  totaled  885;  227  appointments  were  ter- 
minated; 38  persons  were  removed  from  the  service  on 
account  of  misconduct;  and  there  were  52  deaths.  In  the 
positions  excepted  from  examination,  chiefly  agents  and 
experts,  there  were  2,919  appointments  made  for  temporary 
periods,  145  promotions  in  salary,  and  115  reductions.  Four 
hundred  and  twenty-four  of  these  employees  were  separated 
from  the  service  through  removal,  resignation,  or  death,  and 
1,925  appointments  terminated. 


The  need  in  the  department  of  a  uniform  system  of  effi- 
ciency ratings  and  registers  for  clerical  and  subclerical 
employees  on  the  statutory  roll  on  which  to  base  promotions 
has  been  felt  for  a  long  time.  After  conference  with  the 
civil-service  officials,  such  a  system  was  inaugurated  early 
in  the  summer.     It  is  believed  that  this  system  will  eliminate 

14  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

to  a  large  extent  the  danger  of  making  favoritism  or  any  other 
consideration  rather  than  merit  the  reason  for  promotion. 

The  department  is  working  in  the  closest  possible  relation- 
ship with  the  Civil  Service  Commission  in  the  handling  of  its 
appointments.  Because  of  the  technical  and  scientific 
nature  of  much  of  the  work  of  the  department,  it  has  been 
found  difficult  to  secure  the  right  kind  of  men  from  tho 
regular  registers  of  the  commission.  It  has  therefore  been 
necessary  to  hold  special  examinations  from  time  to  time. 


The  foregoing  changes  were  made  to  promote  economy, 
the  orderly  handling  of  financial  matters,  and  the  develop- 
ment of  individual  efficiency  in  the  business  force.  Other 
changes  in  organization  have  been  effected  which  aim  to 
develop  better  coordination  among  the  several  bureaus  of 
the  department  and  between  the  department  and  other 
Federal  departments  and  the  State  agricultural  agencies. 


Following  the  report  of  a  special  committee  charged  with 
suggestions  for  the  reorganization  of  the  Weather  Bureau, 
changes  have  been  brought  about  which  reduce  expense, 
eliminate  certain  duplications  between  Federal  departments, 
and  restore  that  bureau  strictly  to  its  field  of  scientific  use- 
fulness, from  which  at  one  time  it  had  somewhat  departed. 
Under  this  reorganization  it  will  conduct  its  work  wholly 
in  the  interests  of  agriculture,  commerce,  and  navigation, 
and  will  plan  its  research  work  with  a  view  to  improving 
its  services  to  these  three  important  interests. 


One  of  the  first  steps  will  be  the  gradual  reorganization 
of  the  stations  and  substations.  This  will  include  the 
elimination  of  stations  and  substations  which  are  not  needed, 
the  limiting  to  forecasting  of  the  work  of  stations  which  are 
not  well  located  for  carrying  on  climatological  work  pre- 
viously assigned  to  them,  the  discontinuance  of  the  issuance 
of  complete  maps  from  stations  in  territories  where  these 
maps  have  not  proved  of  interest  or  particular  value,  and  the 
confining  of  the  work  of  certain  stations  to  special  crop 

Report  of  the  Secretary.  15 

service.  In  this  plan  certain  river,  rainfall,  and  snowfall 
stations  will  be  discontinued  and  changes  will  be  made  in  the 
location  of  other  stations  to  effect  telegraphic,  cable,  and 
telephonic  economies. 


Cooperation  between  the  Hydrographic  Office  of  the  Navy 
Department  and  the  Weather  Bureau  in  the  matter  of  the 
publication  of  marine  meteorological  charts  has  been  effected. 
The  Weather  Bureau  will  discontinue  the  publication  of 
marine  meteorological  charts  and  will  hereafter  supply  to  the 
Hydrographic  Office  for  publication  on  the  pilot  charts  all 
necessary  meteorological  data,  and  the  Hydrographic  Office 
will  reciprocate  by  supplying  these  charts  to  all  Weather 
Bureau  stations  requiring  them. 


One  of  the  most  important  recommendations  is  that  the 
extensive  work  in  meteorology,  observation  of  terrestrial 
magnetism,  study  of  solar  and  astrophysical  problems,  and 
aerial  observations,  hitherto  carried  on  at  Mount  Weather, 
near  Bluemont,  Va.,  be  discontinued,  and  that  it  be  made 
a  simple  meteorological  station  for  the  taking  of  climatologi- 
cal  records.  The  committee,  in  a  complete  report  on  the 
subject,  found  that  the  property  at  Mount  Weather  was 
purchased  prior  to  1903  and  building  operations  begun  early 
in  the  summer  of  that  year.  A  committee  of  scientists  from 
the  bureau  reported  against  the  use  of  this  property  for 
aerial  research  in  1903,  and  within  the  past  year  other  com- 
mittees reported  that  solar  radiation,  upper-air  research, 
and  dynamic  meteorology  could  better  be  carried  on  at  other 
locations.  For  this  reason  the  department  has  determined 
to  discontinue  the  research  work  at  this  observatory  and 
operate  it  simply  for  the  taking  of  climatological  records. 
This  can  be  done  by  the  man  who  will  protect  the  property, 
at  a  total  cost  of  about  $1,000  per  year.  This  will  make 
available  approximately  $12,600,  which  can  be  expended 
to  far  greater  advantage  for  scientific  research. 


The  work  of  the  Weather  Bureau  will  be  strengthened 
by  increased  attention  to  the  matter  of  special  crop  warnings, 
designed  to  give  growers  of  special  crops  an  opportunity  to 

16  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

take  protective  measures.  This  is  particularly  important 
for  the  southern  fruit  crops,  which  are  subject  to  damage 
by  unexpected  frosts.  The  bureau  will  also  develop  its  work 
of  giving  flood  warnings  to  districts  along  waterways  which 
are  subject  to  sudden  rises. 

The  forecasting  and  warnings  service  will  be  improved  by 
the  assignment  of  assistant  forecasters  to  certain  centers  so 
that  the  evening  forecasts  for  these  districts  can  be  made 
at  the  center. 

The  scientific  work  will  include  special  attention  to  studies 
of  storm,  hurricane,  frost,  and  cold  waves,  normal  monthly 
storm  tracts,  the  magnetics  and  thermodynamics  of  the 
atmosphere,  solar  radiation,  quantity  and  quality  of  day- 
light, light  intensity  and  sun  and  shade  temperatures,  tem- 
perature in  relation  to  plant  growth,  evaporation,  water 
requirements  of  crops,  precipitation  and  snowfall,  rivers  and 
floods,  and  motions  of  the  lower  atmosphere — a  study  which 
is  of  growing  importance,  especially  to  aviators  and  engineers. 


It  is  proposed  that  the  name  of  the  Bureau  of  Statistics  be 
changed  to  "Bureau  of  Agricultural  Forecasts,"  as  indicating 
more  clearly  the  nature  of  its  work.  The  figures  compiled 
and  published  by  the  bureau  are  simply  estimates  or  fore- 
casts of  crop  prospects  or  production  based  upon  the  most 
careful  use  of  all  information  attainable  from  thoroughly 
•reliable  sources.  Much  of  the  work  of  a  purely  statistical 
nature  hitherto  carried  on  by  this  bureau  has  now  been 
assigned  to  other  branches  of  the  department  or  to  other 
Federal  departments  to  which  it  more  properly  belongs. 


In  the  preparation  of  forecasts  of  production  the  depart- 
ment has  entered  into  a  cooperative  arrangement  with  the 
Post  Office  Department  which  it  is  believed  will  make  the 
figures  of  the  estimates  and  forecasts  still  more  reliable. 
Through  this  arrangement  it  is  hoped  that  a  system  can  be 
effectively  inaugurated  whereby  the  rural  postmasters  and 
rural  route  mail  carriers  will  assist  in  collecting  actual  figures 
of  total  acreage  and  also  gather  complete  figures  of  live  stock. 

Report  of  the  Secretary .  17 


•With  a  view  to  increasing  the  accuracy  of  its  forecasts  the 
bureau  proposes  to  employ  a  number  of  specially  qualified 
field  forecast  agents  and  crop  specialists,  to  be  obtained 
through  rigid  civil-service  examination.  The  field  forecast 
agents  will  be  assigned  to  States  in  which  agricultural  pro- 
duction is  not  large  and  will  spend  their  entire  time  in  investi- 
gation of  actual  crop  conditions  within  their  territories. 
Crop  specialists  who  have  hitherto  been  used  in  gathering 
information  on  special  crops,  such  as  tobacco  and  cotton, 
will  be  employed  to  gather  similar  data  on  other  important 
agricultural  products.  The  system  of  collecting  information 
through  county,  township,  and  individual  voluntary  corre- 
spondents will  be  retained,  improved,  and  strengthened. 


It  was  found  upon  investigation  that  details  of  individual 
State  forecasts  must  be  in  the  hands  of  the  farmer  with  the 
least  possible  delay  if  he  is  to  gain  from  them  any  advantage 
in  the  marketing  of  his  own  products.  By  simple  and 
effective  cooperation  with  the  Weather  Bureau  this  result 
has  been  achieved  effectively  and  at  a  purely  nominal  cost. 
Under  this  plan  the  important  details  of  forecasts  for  each 
State  are  telegraphed  to  the  central  weather  station  in  that 
State.  The  weather  station  immediately  prints  copies  of 
these  figures,  which  show  the  forecast  for  that  State  com- 
pared with  10-year  averages.  The  information  is  mailed 
without  delay  to  all  newspapers  and  agricultural  and  com- 
mercial publications  within  that  State  and  reaches  them 
within  24  hours,  thus  quickly  reaching  the  actual  producer. 
By  this  method  the  farmers  in  States  distant  from  Washing- 
ton get  the  State  forecast,  which,  it  has  been  found,  is  an 
even  more  important  factor  in  the  disposal  of  their  products 
than  the  forecast.of  total  production  in  the  country,  without 
the  long  delay  which  would  follow  if  these  State  forecasts  were 
mailed  from  Washington. 


In  order  to  coordinate  certain  phases  of  the  work  of  the 
Bureau  of  Agricultural  Forecasts  with  other  branches  of  the 
department,  and  also  to  prevent  duplication  of  work  and 

27306°— TBK 1813 2 

18  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

lack  of  harmony  in  statistical  matters  between  the  depart- 
ment and  other  Federal  departments,  a  committee  of  coopera- 
tion has  been  established. 


With  the  view  of  making  soil  surveys  more  valuable  to  the 
farmer,  a  new  basis  of  cooperation  has  been  established  with 
the  States  through  their  experiment  stations,  agricultural 
colleges,  and  agricultural  bureaus.  Under  this  plan  the 
department  will  give  precedence  in  conducting  detailed  soil 
surveys  to  those  States  which  cooperate  with  the  department 
in  the  matter  and  which  request  that  such  surveys  be  made. 
During  the  past  year  19  States  have  appropriated  money 
for  soil  surveys  in  cooperation  with  the  department.  If  the 
request  for  soil  surveys  on  the  part  of  cooperating  States 
absorbs  all  the  department's  funds  for  such  work,  no  projects 
will  be  undertaken  in  noncooperating  States.  It  is  believed 
that  where  the  soil  surveys  are  made  at  the  special  request  of 
the  State  agricultural  agency  and  in  districts  where  the  State 
is  actively  engaged  in  extension  work,  the  State  authorities 
will  be  willing  and  able  to  help  the  farmer  to  gain  the  greatest 
possible  benefit  from  the  department's  reports  and  soil- 
survey  maps. 

A  second  phase  of  cooperation  in  soil-survey  matters  ha!s 
been  the  work  of  the  department  in  limiting  its  so-called 
reconnoissance  surveys  largely  to  land  classification  of  the 
national  forests  and  to  undeveloped  areas  of  the  country 
where  detailed  information  is  not  immediately  needed;  work 
has  been  done  in  10  States  covering  30  projects. 


Through  cooperation  with  the  Department  of  Justice 
arrangements  have  been  effected  during  the  year  by  the 
Solicitor  for  the  more  expeditious  and  economical  handling 
of  criminal  cases  and  highly  technical  cases  under  the  food 
and  drugs  act  and  the  insecticide  act.  Hereafter  the  Solicitor 
will  report  criminal  cases  to  the  Department  of  Justice  in  the 
form  of  criminal  informations,  which,  if  approved  by  the 
United  States  attorneys,  may  be  immediately  filed.  This 
will  economize  the  time  of  the  Department  of  Justice  and 
expedite  action  in  the  courts.     A  similar  system  for  handling 

Report  of  the  Secretary.  19 

all  cases  under  the  penal  statutes  committed  to  this  depart- 
ment for  administration  will  be  recommended. 

In  the  trial  of  the  cases  under  these  acts  the  points  of  issue 
frequently  call  for  a  complete  understanding  on  the  part  of 
the  legal  representative  of  the  Government  of  highly  techni- 
cal questions  of  chemistry  and  food  or  drug  technology.  The 
department,  therefore,  has  made  arrangements  whereby  in 
cases  involving  intricate  technical  questions  the  Solicitor  and 
his  assistants  will  assist  the  United  States  attorneys  in  the 
actual  trials.  In  this  way  there  will  be  placed  at  the  disposal 
of  the  Department  of  Justice  the  more  intimate  knowledge 
which  necessarily  must  be  obtained  by  the  Solicitor  in  prepa- 
ration of  the  case  than  can  be  acquired  by  the  United  States 
attorneys  through  correspondence  or  in  the  restricted  time 
at  their  command. 

There  is  now  under  consideration  a  scheme  of  cooperation 
between  the  Department  of  the  Interior  and  this  department 
with  respect  to  the  handling  of  litigation  involving  claims  to 
lands  within  the  national  forests,  with  a  view  to  determining 
whether,  and  if  so,  to  what  extent,  there  may  be  duplication 
of  work.  The  ultimate  purpose  is  to  recommend  such  change 
in  the  procedure  as  may  be  necessary  to  eliminate  such  dupli- 




The  decision  of  the  Attorney  General,  and  subsequent 
action  by  the  Secretaries  of  the  Treasury,  Agriculture,  and 
Commerce,  in  rescinding  regulation  No.  39  placed  meats  and 
meat  food  products  under  the  provisions  of  the  food  and 
drugs  act  as  well  as  under  the  meat-inspection  law.  Prior 
to  that  time  meats  and  meat  food  products  had  been  exempt 
from  the  operation  of  the  so-called  pure-food  law.  Placing 
all  these  products  under  the  provisions  ot  this  act  called  for 
the  establishment  of  new  machinery  and  certain  reorganiza- 
tions in  the  Bureau  of  Chemistry,  and  made  necessary  close 
cooperation  between  that  bureau  and  the  Bureau  ot  Animal 
Industry.  The  general  effect  of  the  change  was  to  give  the 
Federal  Government  control  over  meat  and  meat  food 
products  in  interstate  commerce  in  all  stages  of  their  transit, 

20  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

instead  of  largely  limiting  their  control  to  these  products 
while  they  were  actually  within  the  jurisdiction  of  a  federally 
inspected  meat  establishment. 


It  has  long  been  recognized  that  inconsistencies  between 
the  food  and  drugs  act  and  the  food,  drug,  and  dairy  laws  of 
the  different  States,  as  well  as  lack  of  uniformity  in  State 
legislation,  have  greatty  hindered  the  prevention  of  fraud, 
adulteration,  and  misbranding  in  food  and  drugs  and  have 
made  it  difficult  to  induce  manufacturers  to  improve  their 
products.  It  is  wasteful  for  the  Federal  food  and  drug 
authorities  and  the  State  authorities  to  work  at  cross  pur- 
poses, and  the  department  is  making  every  endeavor  to  bring 
about  effective  cooperation.  To  this  end,  the  Secretary  in- 
vited all  the  State  food  and  drug  officials  to  attend  a  con- 
ference with  representatives  of  the  department  to  determine 
ways  and  means  of  bringing  about  better  coordination  of 
functions  and  closer  cooperation.  This  conference  was  held 
on  November  13  and  14  and  attended  by  23  food  commis- 
sioners and  26  other  State  officials,  representing  33  States, 
including  Porto  Rico  and  the  District  of  Columbia.  It  was 
unanimously  agreed  by  those  attending  the  conference  that 
effective  cooperation  was  desirable,  and  agreements  were 
reached  as  to  specific  measures  which  would  aid  in  bringing 
this  about.  The  conference  made  clear  the  necessity  of 
establishing  within  the  department  an  organization  to  be 
charged  with  the  dissemination  of  information  concerning 
the  sanitary  conditions  of  food  production,  violations  of  the 
law,  new  forms  of  sophistication,  and  new  methods  for  their 
detection.  The  establishment  of  such  an  organization  it  is 
expected  will  do  much  to  prevent  duplication  of  research  and 
investigation  and  make  food  and  drug  control  far  more 
effective.  It  is  hoped  also  that  with  increased  cooperation 
will  come  effective  control  through  State  agencies  of  condi- 
tions under  which  food  factories  manufacture  their  products, 
and  better  control  of  such  foods  as  milk,  eggs,  oysters,  and 
fish,  which  can  be  contaminated  with  micro-organisms  and 
may  communicate  disease.  Under  the  conditions  of  the 
Federal  law  the  department  can  exercise  no  policing  control 
over  the  actual  factories  and  dairies,  and  detection  of  con- 

Revort  of  the  Secretary.  21 

tamination  resulting  from  unclean  or  undesirable  conditions 
is  most  difficult  in  the  finished  product.  Many  of  the  meas- 
ures recommended  at  the  conference  call  for  changes  in 
existing  Federal  statutes,  and  the  State  officials  have  ap- 
pointed a  number  of  committees  to  prepare  reports  and 
practical  suggestions  as  to  measures  that  will  tend  to  unify 
State  and  Federal  work  in  this  field.   • 


The  effective  administration  of  the  food  and  drugs  act 
has  been  hindered  to  some  extent  by  the  fact  that  the  food 
and  drugs  laboratories  and  the  food  and  drugs  inspectors 
were  acting  independently  of  each  other  in  the  same  terri- 
tory. With  two  sets  of  absolutely  independent  officials  in 
the  same  territory,  each  reporting  directly  to  Washington, 
there  could  be  little  coordination.  To  avoid  this,  the  United 
States  will  be  divided  into  a  few  general  inspection  districts, 
each  in  charge  of  a  competent  official,  and  all  laboratories 
and  inspectors  working  in  that  territory  will  be  under  the 
same  immediate  direction.  Certain  of  the  smaller  branch 
laboratories  outside  of  Washington  will  be  closed,  because 
the  same  work  can  be  done  more  economically  and  effec- 
tively in  the  larger  laboratories,  which  have  specializing  chem- 
ists and  a  more  complete  scientific  equipment.  The  food 
and  drugs  inspectors  similarly  will  be  grouped  in  the  larger 
centers  and  will  cover  their  territory  by  traveling  from 
these  centers. 


This  redivision  also  will  make  it  possible  for  the  different 
branch  laboratories,  instead  of  devoting  their  time  almost 
wholly  to  the  policing  functions,  to  give  attention  to  inves- 
tigational work  which  has  for  its  aim  constructive  improve- 
ment in  the  manufacture  and  handling  of  foods  and  the 
better  use  of  agricultural  products. 

Special  emphasis  should  be  placed  upon  this  constructive 
work,  and  it  should  be  the  policy  not  merely  to  cause  vio- 
lators of  the  law  to  be  punished,  but  to  prevent  the  recur- 
rence of  violations  by  so  perfecting  processes  of  manufac- 
ture that  only  lawful  products  will  reach  the  consumer. 
Saving  of  waste  and  economical  utilization  of  products  are 
becoming  more  and  more  important;  the  Government  must 

22  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

conduct  such  investigations,  since  they  are  usually  so  costly 
that  only  the  larger  industrial  corporations  can  undertake 
them  independently.  The  results  obtained  by  the  Govern- 
ment are  published  for  the  use  of  all.  The  results  of  private 
investigation  are  either  kept  secret  or  patented,  and  thus 
give  an  opportunity  for  monopoly.  The  constructive  work 
in  this  way  may  be  -made  to  supplement  the  regulatory 
activity.  Punishment  under  the  law  will  become  less  and 
less  frequent  and  necessary  when  the  manufacturer  has  been 
taught  how  to  send  a  safe  product  to  market.  The  con- 
sumer will  profit  not  only  from  the  increased  quality  of  the 
food  but  by  the  lessened  cost  of  production. 


That  the  food  and  drugs  act  is  purely  economic  in  one 
phase  and  hygienic  in  the  other  is  not  always  clearly  under- 
stood. The  wording  of  the  act  does  not  make  this  distinc- 
tion clear.  Thus,  the  word  "adulteration"  is  used  for  the 
offense  of  substituting  a  less  valuable  though  wholesome 
article  in  whole  or  in  part  for  a  more  valuable  one,  and  also 
for  the  addition  of  a  deleterious  substance  to  a  food,  or  the 
sale  of  a  food  which  is  filthy  and  decomposed.  Obviously 
the  first  is  an  offense  against  the  consumer's  pocket.  The 
others  may  injure  his  health.  In  the  past  relatively  more 
attention  has  been  paid  to  the  economic  than  the  hygienic 
phase  of  the  act.  The  most  important  hygienic  task  is  the 
proper  control  of  such  foods  as  milk,  eggs,  oysters,  and  fish, 
which  may  communicate  disease.  In  this  connection  the 
cleanliness  of  food  factories  or  sources  of  perishable  foods 
which  can  become  infected  is  most  important.  The  depart- 
ment must  combat  unsatisfactory  conditions  in  food  sources 
mainly  through  education,  and  the  policing  function  in  the 
case  of  factories  and  dairies  must  be  discharged  largely  by 
the  States.  It  is  believed,  however,  that  the  department 
can  render  assistance  in  encouraging  the  States  to  carry  out 
this  work  for  themselves. 


The  establishment  of  legal  standards  for  judging  foods 
would  render  the  food  and  drugs  act  more  effective,  less 
expensive  in  its  administration,   and  supply  needed  legal 

Report  of  the  Secretary.  23 

criteria.  Under  present  conditions  it  is  necessary  in  the 
individual  prosecution  to  establish  by  evidence  a  standard 
for  each  individual  article.  This  procedure  is  very  expen- 
sive, and  sometimes  its  cost  is  out  of  proportion  to  its  value. 
Moreover,  it  may  result  in  lack  of  uniformity  in  different 
jurisdictions.  With  legal  standards  established,  the  con- 
trol of  foods  would  be  more  uniform  and  measurably  less 
expensive.  The  lack  of  such  standards  is  to-day  one  of  the 
greatest  difficulties  in  the  administration  of  the  food  and 
drugs  act.  These  standards,  however,  should  be  in  the  form 
of  definitions,  because  numerical  standards  furnish  recipes 
for  sophistication.  The  standards,  moreover,  should  be  suf- 
ficiently flexible  to  permit  improvements  in  production. 
Other  serious  limitations  in  the  food  and  drugs  act  result 
from  that  act's  definition  of  "drug."  It  is  impossible  to 
control  cosmetics  containing  injurious  drugs,  and  remedies 
for  obesity  and  leanness,  or  to  prevent  the  use  of  wood  alco- 
hol in  remedies  for  external  application.  The  list  of  inju- 
rious drugs  which  must  be  declared  upon  the  label  is  now 
limited,  and  authority  should  be  given  to  require  statements 
of  other  drugs  and  the  new  habit-forming  or  dangerous  com- 
pounds which  chemists  are  constantly  producing. 


Still  further  changes  in  organization  seem  requisite.  The 
Department  of  Agriculture,  like  other  large  institutions 
dealing  with  complex  problems,  has  tended  to  develop  into 
highly  specialized  groups,  with"  somewhat  arbitrary  bound- 
ary lines,  which  have  been  defined  more  by  the  methods 
employed  than  by  the  object  sought.  Such  arbitrary  divi- 
sional lines,  separating  branches  of  work  aiming  at  a  com- 
mon result,  produce  a  certain  amount  of  jealousy  and 
assumed  conflict  of  interest  and  lost  motion,  leading  even- 
tually to  stagnation.  In  the  department  it  has  become  evi- 
dent that  existing  divisional  lines  are  beginning  to  militate 
against  a  desirable  flexibility,  and  have  in  some  cases 
allowed  too  little  latitude  in  carrying  out  important  projects. 
When  in  the  past  the  department's  work  was  on  a  purely 
divisional  basis,  there  was  little  need  for  coordination.  This 
divisional  basis  was  changed  about  12  years  ago  into  the 

24  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

present  bureau  system.  The  new  plan  for  a  time  worked 
well,  because  the  field  was  then  a  very  broad  one  and  was 
not  covered  fully  by  any  single  bureau  or  division.  As  the 
work  has  grown  and  different  divisions  have  approached 
the  same  field,  definite  handicaps  have  developed. 

What  is  needed  is  a  basic  plan  of  cooperation,  coordina- 
tion, and  broader  grouping  of  the  services  of  the  department, 
according  to  the  purposes  in  view,  each  with  a  larger  number 
of  small  units,  the  development  of  a  common  feeling,  and 
team  work  all  along  the  line.  Experience  demonstrates  that 
small  units  alone,  each  more  or  less  interconnected  with 
other  units,  will  yield  the  greatest  results,  both  in  research 
and  in  its  application. 

To  capitalize  fully  the  results  of  research  and  to  make  the 
knowledge  gained  by  the  department  of  service  to  the  peo- 
ple, the  department  manifestly  must  put  itself  in  the  best 
possible  position  to  reach  with  its  information  the  people 
who  must  change  that  information  into  productive  action. 
To  do  this  it  must  see  that  its  policing  or  regulatory  func- 
tions do  not  interfere  with  the  gathering  of  its  information, 
nor  with  the  constructive  rather  than  the  preventive  use  of 
these  data.  It  therefore  must  have  a  plan  whereby  not  only 
friction  is  completely  eliminated,  but  whereby  it  is  placed  in 
a  position  to  use  to  the  fullest  extent  all  outside  agencies 
which  can  carry  its  information  more  directly  to  the  people 
it  seeks  to  serve.  Probably  this  will  best  be  accomplished 
by  having  in  the  department  an  organization  involving  five 
or  six  main  groups,  such  as  a  research  service,  a  rural  organi- 
zation service,  a  State  relations  service,  a  weather  service,  a 
forest  service,  a  regulatory  service,  and  others  as  new  con- 
ditions or  special  occasion  might  warrant.  .  With  a  view  to 
the  establishment  of  some  such  system  the  department  in  its 
estimates  has  submitted  the  following  clause  for  the  ap- 
proval of  the  Congress: 

The  Secretary  of  Agriculture  is  hereby  authorized  and  directed  to  pre- 
pare a  plan  for  reorganizing,  redirecting,  and  systematizing  the  work  of  the 
Department  of  Agriculture  as  the  interests  of  economical  and  efficient 
administration  may  require;  such  plan  shall  be  submitted  to  Congress  in 
the  Book  of  Estimates  for  the  fiscal  year  1916;  and  the  estimates  of  expenses 
of  the  Department  of  Agriculture  for  the  fiscal  year  1916  shall  be  prepared 
and  submitted  in  accordance  therewith. 

Report  of  the  Secretary.  25 


Heretofore  the  Department  of  Agriculture  has,  of  necessity, 
concerned  itself  mainly  with  problems  of  production.  It 
must  give  no  less  attention  to  these  problems  for  a  long  time 
to  come;  they  are  still  urgent.  Increased  tenancy,  absentee 
ownership,  soils  still  depleted  and  exploited,  inadequate 
business  methods,  the  relative  failure  to  induce  the  great 
majority  of  farmers  to  apply  existing  agricultural  knowledge, 
and  the  suggestions  of  dependence  on  foreign  nations  for 
food  supplies,  warn  us  of  our  shortcomings  and  incite  us  to 
additional  efforts  to  increase  production. 

The  situation  is  one  about  which  many  have  become  pes- 
simistic, but,  of  course,  there  is  no  ground  for  thinking  that 
we  have  yet  approximated  the  limit  of  our  output  from  the 
soil.  As  a  matter  of  fact,  we  have  just  begun  to  attack  the 
problem;  we  have  not  even  reached  the  end  of  the  pioneering 
stage,  and  have  only  in  a  few  localities  developed  conditions 
where  reasonably  full  returns  are  secured.  With  a  popula- 
tion of  less  than  95,000,000  living  on  more  than  3,000,000 
square  miles  it  is  unreasonable  to  speak  as  if  our  territory 
had  been  much  more  than  pioneered.  The  population  per 
square  mile  in  the  Union  does  not  exceed  31,  and  ranges 
from  seven-tenths  of  1  in  Nevada  to  508  in  Rhode  Island. 
It  is  less  than  76  per  square  mile  in  any  State  in  the  Union, 
except  in  eight  Eastern  States  and  in  Ohio  and  Illinois;  less 
than  50  in  any  Southern  State;  less  than  43  in  any  State  west 
of  the  Mississippi  except  Missouri;  less  than  25  in  the  great 
States  like  Texas,  Washington,  Nebraska,  Oklahoma,  Kan- 
sas, and  California;  less  than  10  in  the  Dakotas,  Oregon,  and 
Colorado,  and  less  than  5  in  most  of  the  Rocky  Mountain 

Look  at  it  from  another  point  of  view.  According  to  the 
best  statistics  available  it  appears  that  the  total  arable  land 
in  the  Union  is  approximately  935,000,000  acres;  that  only 
about  400,000,000  of  this  is  included  in  farms  and  improved; 
that  over  100,000,000  is  unimproved,  and  not  included  in 
farms;  and  the  remainder  is  unimproved  lands  included  in 
farms.  But  there  is  another  thought.  What  about  the 
efficiency  of  the  work  on  the  land  now  under  cultivation? 
What  part  of  it  may  be  said  to  be  reasonably  efficiently  cul- 

26  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

tivated  ?  What  part  of  it  is  satisfactorily  cultivated  and  is 
yielding  reasonably  full  returns  ?  The  opportunity  for 
guessing  in  this  field  is  unlimited,  but  according  to -the  best 
guesses  I  can  secure,  it  appears  that  less  than  40  per  cent  of 
the  land  is  reasonably  well  cultivated  and  less  than  12  per 
cent  is  yielding  fairly  full  returns,  or  returns  considerably 
above  the  average. 

We  have  unmistakably  reached  the  period  where  we  must 
think  and  plan.  We  are  suffering  the  penalty  of  too  great 
ease  of  living  and  of  making  a  living.  It  is  not  singular  that 
we  should  find  ourselves  in  our  present  plight.  Recklessness 
and  waste  have  been  incident  to  our  breathless  conquest  of 
a  nation,  and  we  have  had  our  minds  too  exclusively  directed 
to  the  establishment  of  industrial  supremacy  in  the  keen  race 
for  competition  with  foreign  nations.  We  have  been  so  bent 
on  building  up  great  industrial  centers  by  every  natural  and 
artificial  device  that  we  have  had  little  thought  for  the  very 
foundations  of  our  industrial  existence. 


In  dealing  with  the  problems  of  production,  the  depart- 
ment has  directed  its  attention  mainly  to  the  problem  of  the 
individual  farmer,  and  the  broader  economic  problems  of  rural 
life  have  received  relatively  little  attention.  It  is  now  becom- 
ing clear  that  we  must  definitely  and  aggressively  approach 
these  newer  and,  relatively  speaking,  urgent  problems.  We 
have  been  suddenly  brought  face  to  face  with  the  fact  that  in 
many  directions  further  production  waits  on  better  distribu- 
tion and  that  the  field  of  distribution  presents  problems  which 
raise  in  very  grave  ways  the  simple  issue  of  justice.  That 
under  existing  conditions  in  many  instances  the  farmer  does 
not  get  what  he  should  for  his  product;  that  the  consumer  is 
required  to  pay  an  unfair  price;  and  that  unnecessary  bur- 
dens are  imposed  under  the  existing  systems  of  distribution, 
there  can  be  no  question. 

Just  what  part  of  the  burden  is  due  to  lack  of  systematic 
planning,  or  inefficiency  and  economic  waste,  or  to  unfair 
manipulation,  one  can  not  say.  As  difficult  as  are  the  prob- 
lems of  production,  they  are  relatively  simple  as  compared 
with  those  of  distribution,  and  there  is  danger  not  so  much 
that  nothing  will  be  done,  but  that  pressure  will  be  brought 

Report  of  the  Secretary.  27 

to  bear  on  the  department  to  take  action  everywhere  before 
it  is  prepared  to  act  intelligently  anywhere.  The  depart- 
ment has  given  assistance  here  and  there  in  the  past;  it  is 
prepared  to  give  further  assistance  and  information  now,  and 
it  has  shaped  its  projects  and  instituted  more  systematic 
investigations,  which  should  have  results  of  great  practical 
value  to  individuals  and  to  communities. 

This  extension  of  activity  has  been  made  under  the  act  of 
Congress  approved  March  4,  1913,  which  confers  the  broad 
authority  indicated : 

To  enable  the  Secretary  of  Agriculture  to  acquire  and  diffuse  among  the 
people  of  the  United  States  useful  information  on  subjects  connected  with 
the  marketing  and  distribution  of  farm  products. 

Let  us  look  at  the  matter  briefly  and  consider  some  of  the 
problems  that  must  be  attacked  in  this  field.  The  depart- 
ment has  arranged  its  marketing  investigations  under  five 
important  subdivisions: 

First.  Marketing  surveys,  methods,  and  costs,  including 
especially  available  market  supplies  in  given  production 
areas,  demand  at  consuming  centers,  cold  and  other  storages, 
marketing  systems  and  prices,  and  costs  of  wholesale  and 
retail  distribution  of  farm  products. 

Second.  Transportation  and  storage  problems,  having  in 
mind  the  elimination  of  waste  and  the.  study  of  problems 
connected  with  surplus  market  supplies;  terminal  and  transfer 
facilities,  including  freight  congestion,  car  supply,  deteriora- 
tion in  transit,  extension  of  the  practice  of  precooling  of 
perishable  products,  and  other  special  services. 

Third.  City  marketing  and  distribution  investigations, 
involving  a  study  of  the  uses  and  limitations  of  farmers', 
municipal,  wholesale,  and  retail  market  houses;  systems  of 
city  distribution;  the  promotion  of  direct  dealing  between 
producers  and  consumers  by  parcel  post,  express,  and  freight. 

Fourth.  Study  and  promulgation  of  market  grades  and 
standards.  A  consideration  of  sizes  and  suitability  of  pack- 
ages and  containers,  methods  of  preparation  of  perishable 
products,  and  the  ultimate  establishment,  so  far  as  practicable, 
of  official  market  grades  and  standards  for  farm  products. 

Finally,  cooperative  production  and  marketing  investiga- 
tions. The  department,  as  has  been  said,  has  already  ap- 
proached the  field  of  marketing  through  various  agencies. 

28  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

It  has  established  standard  cotton  grades  and  has  practically 
completed  its  standard  corn  grades.  It  has  given  much 
attention  to  cold-storage  problems  and  to  the  packing  and 
handling  of  perishable  fruits.  It  is  aware  of  the  existing 
chaos  and  of  the  consequent  wastes — waste  resulting  from 
faults  on  the  part  of  the  farmer  in  the  growing  and  handling 
of  his  products;  waste  resulting  from  the  machinery  of  distri- 
bution, including  physical  equipment  and  physical  handling; 
waste  resulting  from  the  manipulation  of  those  middlemen 
who  perform  no  clearly  useful  and  necessary  service;  and 
waste  resulting  from  ignorance  on  the  part  of  the  consumer 
and  of  the  producer  of  the  character  of  the  product  which  is 
placed  on  the  market.  The  producer  of  any  product  is 
entitled  to  receive  an  exact  price  for  the  specific  product 
which  he  offers  and  the  consumer  is  entitled  to  receive  just 
the  commodity  he  thinks  he  is  paying  for. 

A  failure  in  either  direction  involves  clear  injustice  and 
greatly  hampers  production  and  crop  improvement.  Let  me 
illustrate  by  reference  to  two  vitally  important  crops — cotton 
and  corn. 

Several  different  standards  of  cotton  classification  are  now 
in  use.  Some  markets  have  adopted  the  official  grades  and 
use  them.  Others  have  adopted  them,  but  do  not  trade  on 
them.  Liverpool  has  one  set  of  grades,  New  York  another. 
The  former  is  a  great  market  for  both  spots  and  futures ;  the 
latter  almost  purely  a  future  market.  Atlanta  has  its  own 
.  grades :  Augusta's  are  different.  Savannah,  handling  largely 
the  same  character  of  cotton  as  the  two  foregoing,  trades  on 
Liverpool  grades,  using  Liverpool  middling  as  a  basis.  At- 
lanta middling  is  equal  to  Liverpool  good  middling.  In  other 
words,  at  the  present  time  the  same  grade  name  is  applied 
to  two  qualities  that  differ  in  market  value  as  much  as  $2.50 
per  bale. 

The  adoption  and  application  of  one  uniform  standard 
would  result  in  a  great  simplification  of  all  cotton  transac- 
tions, doing  away  with  the  complex  method  of  figuring 
buyer's  limits.  It  would  not  be  sufficient  to  have  uniform 
grades,  but  the  grade  selected  as  the  basis  grade  should  be 
the  same  in  all  markets. 

The  local  buyer  knows  the  market  cotton  grades;  the 
farmer  does  not.     Too  frequently  the  local  buyer  secures 

Report  of  the  Secretary.  29 

the  cotton  at  practically  a  flat-rate  basis  on  lower  grades, 
grades  the  cotton  himself,  and  sells  it  for  what  it  is  worth. 

There  is  not  only  no  incentive  for  placing  a  good  product 
on  the  market,  but  as  a  matter  of  fact  a  penalty  attaches  to 
the  cotton  grower  who  takes  the  pains  to  improve  his 

Uniform  standards  throughout  the  cotton  belt  would  re- 
sult in  the  rapid  building  up  of  a  body  of  common  knowledge 
on  the  part  of  the  farmers,  students  in  agricultural  colleges, 
and  others  interested  in  the  universal  set  of  grades.  We 
might  hope  to  educate  cotton  farmers  in  sufficient  detail  to 
enable  them  to  use  one  set  of  grades,  but  it  would  be  difficult, 
if  not  impossible,  to  teach  them  grading  based  on  a  number 
of  diverse  standards,  as  one  can  never  tell  to  what  market  a 
given  lot  of  cotton  is  to  go.  It  would  be  necessary  to  have 
knowledge  of  practically  all  grades  in  use. 

If  in  addition  these  grades  were  used  on  the  exchanges  and 
the  terms  of  the  contract  employed  were  modified,  many  of 
the  evils  complained  of  by  the  producer  and  the  consumer  in 
the  marketing  of  cotton  would  disappear. 

Practically  the  same  results  would  follow  and  the  same 
evils  would  be  removed  if  standard  grades  for  corn  were  uni- 
versally adopted.  Definite  standards  for  the  grading  of 
commercial  corn  and  the  uniform  application  of  such  stand- 
ards in  all  markets  under  suitable  Government  supervision 
would  be  of  direct  value  to  our  corn  growers,  in  that  such 
standardization  would  encourage  the  marketing  of  dry  corn 
of  better  quality.  Heretofore  it  has  been  the  common  prac- 
tice to  pay  practically  the  same  price  for  all  corn  delivered 
at  country  stations,  regardless  of  its  water  content  or  of  its 
soundness.  Farmers  have  not  been  slow  to  grasp  the  situa- 
tion, and  under  such  a  system  have  naturally  made  but  little 
effort  to  market  corn  in  a  dry  and  sound  condition.  The 
system  has  placed  a  premium  on  poor  and  careless  farming  at 
the  expense  of  good  farm  methods  and  practices. 

Under  a  definite  system  of  grading  and  the  elimination  of 
such  terms  as  "reasonably  dry"  and  "reasonably  clean,"  the 
farmer,  as  well  as  the  grain  dealer,  will  be  able  to  know  and 
fully  understand  the  requirements  for  the  different  grades 
With  a  knowledge  of  the  grade  requirements  the  farmer  who 
markets  dry  corn  of  gpod  quality  will  be  in  a  position  to 

30  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

demand  a  premium  for  such  corn.  It  will  not  be  necessary 
for  him  to  accept  a  No.  4  price  for  corn  which  he  sells  under 
a  grade  designation  of  No.  3.  He  will  then  have  some  en- 
couragement to  exercise  greater  care  in  the  harvesting,  stor- 
ing, and  marketing  of  his  corn;  he  can  likewise  ascertain  in 
advance  of  sale  with  a  fair  degree  of  accuracy  the  grade  of 
his  corn  while  in  the  crib,  and  thus  not  market  it  until  it  is 
sufficiently  dry  to  meet  the  requirements  of  a  higher  grade. 
The  way  will  be  open  for  real  progress  in  the  movement  for 
the  production  of  more  com  of  better  quality,  and  farmers 
who  grow  corn  primarily  for  market  will  have  an  incentive 
to  grow  earlier  maturing  varieties,  which  will  contain  less 
moisture  when  marketed  and  can  be  sold  at  a  premium. 
Likewise,  the  country  shipper  will  be  in  a  position  to  pay  a 
premium  for  good  corn,  in  that  he,  in  turn,  will  have  the 
assurance  of  the  same  definite  system  of  grading  regardless 
of  the  market  to  which  he  ships. 


Several  things  stand  out  very  clearly  at  this  stage  of  our 
knowledge.  All  this  waste  must  be  eliminated.  In  simple 
justice  the  producer  must  be  paid  specifically  for  what  he 
produces  and  for  nothing  else,  and  the  consumer  must  receive 
what  he  thinks  he  purchases  and  must  be  willing  to  pay  a 
fair  price  for  a  good  product.  It  is  clear  that  before  the 
problems  of  marketing,  the  individual  farmer,  acting  alone, 
is  helpless.  Nothing  less  than  concerted  action  will  suffice. 
Cooperation  is  essential.  The  same  business  sense  and  the 
same  organizing  genius  which  have  placed  this  Nation  in  the 
front  rank  in  industry  must  be  invoked  for  agriculture. 
Reflection  suggests  this;  experience  demonstrates  it.  All  the 
successful  attempts  in  the  marketing  of  any  produce  any- 
where in  the  world  have  come  through  organized  effort. 
The  individual  farmer  has  neither  adequate  information  nor 
the  facilities. 

There  are  dangers  here,  of  course.  Cooperation  can  not 
result  in  an  organization  which  shall  attempt  to  establish  a 
closed  market  and  to  fix  prices.  We  shall  doubtless  con- 
demn this  as  strictly  in  one  field  of  industry  as  in  any  other 
and  it  would  be  as  unnecessary  as  it  would  be  unfortunate. 
The  aim  should  be  an  economic  arrangement  which  shall 

Report  of  the  Secretary,  31 

facilitate  production,  lead  the  producer  to  standardize  and 
to  prepare  his  product  for  the  market,  and  to  find  the  readiest 
and  best  market  for  his  product.  Such  action  will  result  in 
gain  to  the  producer  as  well  as  to  the  consumer.  Further- 
more, it  is  desirable  that  such  concerted  action  shall  proceed 
from  below  upward.  It  must  concern  itself  with  the  over- 
coming of  a  specific  economic  difficulty  in  this  field  of  pro- 
duction and  distribution.  It  should  associate  itself  with 
some  particular  product  which  is  capable  of  being  standard- 
ized. Experience  shows  that  the  best  results  are  secured 
only  when  the  members  of  such  a  cooperative  society  are 
those  who  are  bona  fide  producers. 

Many  enterprises  in  the  United  States  claiming  to  be  of  a 
cooperative  nature  have  existed  and  do  exist.  They  are  of 
all  sorts  and  descriptions;  some  are  truly  cooperative,  others 
are  clearly  exploited.  Some  operate  on  principles  that  are 
sound;  others  on  principles  that  are  obviously  bad.  A  form 
helpful  to  one  undertaking  is  not  necessarily  the  best  for 
another,  and  one  successful  in  one  community  under  certain 
conditions  can  not  necessarily  be  expected  to  succeed  under 
other  conditions  in  another  community. 

Here,  again,  the  need  is  for  information,  and  the  depart- 
ment, acting  in  cooperation  with  the  General  Education 
Board,  has  devised  machinery  and  instituted  investigations 
into  this  field  of  cooperative  effort  at  home  and  abroad. 
There  are  many  facts  to  be  ascertained.  We  desire  to  know 
and  to  estimate  the  various  sorts  of  enterprises  afoot  in 
order  to  be  able  to  give  the  people  information  concerning 
the  principles  and  practices  of  the  best  forms  of  cooperation. 

At  the  earliest  practicable  moment  the  department  will 
disseminate  the  information,  and  if  circumstances  warrant 
and  funds  are  available  will  assist  in  making  such  demonstra- 
tions as  may  be  practicable. 


There  is  a  general  impression  that  our  financial  arrange- 
ments do  not  satisfactorily  cover  the  rural  communities  and 
that  there  is  need  of  better  credit  arrangements  for  farmers. 
The  interest  is  widespread.  It  is  manifested  in  many  letters 
received  at  the  department,  by  articles  in  periodicals,  by  the 
action  of  various  States,  and  by  the  thought  of  Congress  in 

32  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

providing  for  a  commission  of  inquiry  abroad.  It  is  signif- 
icant that  the  -commission  provided  for  by  Congress  was 
accompanied  by  delegates  from  practically  every  section  of 
the  Union.  The  results  of  the  inquiries  of  this  commission 
are  not  yet  published,  but  they  will  doubtless  be  available 
in  the  very  near  future.  For  a  long  time  economists  have 
known  of  the  foreign  arrangements,  but  their  writings  have 
reached  comparatively  few  people.  The  report  of  the  com- 
mission and  the  public  interest  in  its  trip  abroad  will  give 
wide  publicity  to  its  findings.  It  was  apparent  to  the  depart- 
ment that  a  knowledge  of  foreign  arrangements  should  be 
supplemented  by  a  study  of  home  conditions,  and  through 
cooperation  with  the  General  Education  Board  a  survey  of 
home  conditions  was  undertaken,  and  much  valuable  infor- 
mation has  been  secured. 

It  is  clear  that  conditions  vary  widely  in  the  United 
States,  that  farmers  do  not  equally  need  better  credit  arrange- 
ments, and  that  all  sections  are  not  similarly  circumstanced. 
In  fact,  from  some  sections  come  requests  not  so  much  for 
capital  at  lower  rates  as  for  information  as  to  how  to  invest 

There  is  considerable  variation  of  the  interest  paid  by 
farmers  on  long  and  short  time  loans,  both  as  among  States 
and  as  among  different  sections  in  the  same  area.  In  the 
older  States  of  the  corn  belt,  such  as  Iowa  and  Illinois,  the 
usual  rate  on  farm-mortgage  loans  appears  to  average  a  little 
over  5i  per  cent,  whereas  in  such  States  as  Montana,  Colo- 
rado, and  Oklahoma  in  the  West,  and  Florida  in  the  South, 
the  annual  charge  on  similar  loans  appears  to  be  8£  per  cent 
or  more.  Similar  variation  is  apparent  in  rates  to  farmers 
on  short-time  loans  on  personal  or  collateral  security.  These 
vary  from  an  average  of  less  than  7  per  cent  in  States  like 
Illinois  to  an  average  rate  of  1 1  per  cent  or  more  in  Okla- 
homa, Colorado,  and  Montana.  Furthermore,  the  inter- 
est on  long-time  loans  in  northern  Minnesota  exceeds  by  3 
per  cent  the  usual  charge  in  southern  Minnesota.  In  States 
like  Illinois,  where  the  conditions  are  more  uniform,  the  vari- 
ation is  slight,  ranging  from  5£  to  6  per  cent  between  northern 
and  southern  Illinois.  In  the  case  of  short-tim,e  loans  there 
are  greater  variations,  ranging  from  8£  to  14£  per  cent  or 

Report  of  the  Secretary.  33 

more  in  Colorado  and  Oklahoma  and  from  6J  to  about  8  per 
cent  in  Illinois. 

It  is  not  easy  to  explain  just  how  these  variations  arise 
or  to  decide  whether  we  may  more  nearly  equalize  the  op- 
portunities for  credit  in  the  various  sections,  and  if  so,  how. 
There  is  no  one  single  complete  explanation.  Many  factors 
enter:  Climatic  conditions,  soil  conditions,  stability  of  indus- 
try, methods  of  farming,  distances  from  markets,  distances 
from  centers  of  large  wealth,  and  the  nature  of  financial 
agencies  through  which  capital  is  secured  all  play  a  part 
in  determining  the  availability  of  capital  and  the  rate  of 

But  when  all  necessary  allowance  has  been  made  for  these 
fundamental  factors,  the  fact  remains  that  the  rural  com- 
munities are  not  as  efficiently  served  as  they  should  be  by 
existing  financial  arrangements.  It  is  not  improbable  that 
they  can  not  be  as  completely  served  as  urban  communities 
are,  but  improvements  can  be  made.  Certain  provisions 
of  the  pending  currency  bill  have  been  inserted  with  the 
definite  view  of  remedying  the  defects.  What  further  action 
should  be  taken  presents  a  difficult  and  complex  problem. 
Whether  the  legislation  should  be  exclusively  State  or  exclu- 
sively Federal,  or  partly  State  and  partly  Federal,  and 
whether  different  agencies  should  be  devised  to  meet  the 
demand  for  short-time  and  for  long-time  loans  are  some  of 
the  points  to  be  decided. 

Long-time  loans  are  needed  for  permanent  investments, 
such  as  the  purchase  price  of  a  farm  or  for  the  erection  of 
buildings.  In  this  country  the  usual  method  employed  in 
securing  capital  for  such  purposes  is  through  farm  mort- 
gages. Abroad,  in  France  and  Germany,  separate  financial 
machinery  by  means  of  which  capital  is  rendered  available 
at  low  rates  for  permanent  purposes  has  been  devised. 
Bankers  in  this  country  realize  the  wisdom  of  giving  definite 
encouragement  to  farmers  who  borrow  money  for  productive 
improvements,  and  the  farmer  realizes  the  importance  of 
securing  capital  for  such  purposes.  Here  is  presented  one 
of  the  important  problems  in  connection  with  rural  credits, 
in  some  respects  the  most  important.  It  is  wise  economy 
to  encourage  the  extension  of  credit  for  safe  productive  use, 

27306°— ybk  1913 3 

34  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

and  no  less  wise  to  discourage  the  use  of  capital  along  non- 
productive or  speculative  lines.     There  is  no  doubt  that  much 
capital  has  been  wasted  through  misdirection  and  much  conse- 
quent difficulty  presented  in  the  projection  of  a  new  scheme. 
The  need  of  encouraging  the  placing  of  capital  in  the  hands 
of  the  farmers  at  reasonable  rates  for  productive  purposes 
is  made  evident  by  the  rapid  increase  of  tenancy  in  various 
sections.     We  no  longer  have   abundant  free  homesteads 
that  afford  farms  and  homes  for  immigrants,  as  in  the  earlier 
days.     The  rapid  increase  in  farm  values  and  the  difficulties 
in  securing  land  have  given  impetus  to  the  growth  of  the 
renting  system.     It  is  this  tendency  especially  that  suggests 
the  importance  of  devising  farm  loans  on  terms  such  as  will 
enable  the  producers  to  make  the  necessary  payments  on  the 
interest  and  principal,  so  far  as  possible,  from  the  returns 
of  the  land  itself.     The  plan  of  issuing  farm  debentures  has 
been  advocated  where  the  bond  issues  are  blanketed  on 
farm  mortgages,  and  where  the  latter  are  issued  for  long 
periods  of  time,  running  from  10  to  60  years,  with  the  amor- 
tization feature  attached.     Such  a  plan  has  operated  with 
success  abroad.     Some  organizations  in  this  country  have 
met  with  apparent  success  in  this  direction.     A  land-mort- 
gage bank  organized  as  a  private  stock  company  and  embody- 
ing features  of  the  French  Credit  Foncier  has  been  operated 
for  some  time  in  Illinois.     This  company  lends  money  on 
farm  mortgages  and  issues  debentures,  which  are  sold  to  the 
investing  public.     The  plan  most  in  use  by  it  is  to  have  each 
thousand-dollar  mortgage  carry  a  uniform  semiannual  pay- 
ment of  $43.26,  which  covers  6  per  cent  for  interest  and 
enough  on  the  principal  to  extinguish  the  loan  in  20  years. 
Each  loan  is  limited  to  50  per  cent  of  the  value  of  the  farm, 
and  all  mortgages  are  restricted  to  lands  within  the  State. 
It  would  appear  that  this  plan  can  probably  be  used  safely 
only  where  farming  has  reached  a  stage  of  relative  perma- 
nency and  where  the  conditions  are  fairly  uniform.     Under 
other  conditions  the  investing  world  may  not  be  willing  to 
look  with  favor  upon  blanket  debentures  unless  the  finan- 
cial standing  of  the  institution  issuing  the  securities  inspires 
great  confidence.     In  such  regions  investors  appear  to  prefer 
a  direct  lien  on  the  specific  farms  regarding  which  they  pos- 
sess definite  information,  and  here  the  problem  becomes  one 

Report  of  the  Secretary.  35 

of  directing  effort  toward  the  widening  of  the  market  for 
such  mortgages  by  providing  for  their  resale  and  repurchase 
through  well-organized  and  responsible  agencies. 

In  addition  to  this  improvement  in  facilities  for  long-time 
loans  through  the  widening  of  the  market  for  farm  securities, 
there  is  another  line  of  effort  which  may  yield  favorable 
results  in  improving  credit  conditions.  This  will  involve 
the  drawing  more  effectively  on  existing  local  capital  through 
better  opportunities  of  investment.  An  interesting  example 
is  the  familiar  building  and  loan  association.  The  activities 
of  such  associations  in  urban  communities  are  well  known. 
Attempts  have  been  made  so  to  modify  such  organizations 
as  to  adapt  them  to  the  needs  of  the  farmers.  This  is  true 
especially  in  Ohio,  where  there  are  650  building  and  loan 
associations,  of  which  more  than  500  furnish  loans  to  farmers 
aggregating  more  than  $12,000,000.  These  are  found  in 
82  out  of  88  counties  in  the  State.  In  each  of  the  82  counties 
these  associations  extend  loans  to  farmers  at  a  usual  rate 
of  6  per  cent.  The  loan  contracts  are  reported  by  the  State 
department  as  varying  from  1  to  16  years,  but  in  nearly 
all  instances  the  farmers  prefer  2  to  5  year  contracts  with 
interest  payable  quarterly  or  semiannually.  This  experience 
may  suggest  that  there  is  opportunity  for  the  formation  of 
farmers'  associations  that  will  stimulate  thrift,  mobilize 
local  capital,  and  tend  to  the  increase  of  owned  farms. 

What  has  been  stated  is,  of  course,  tentative,  and  is  not 
intended  by  any  means  to  exhaust  the  subject.  Enough  has 
been  said  to  emphasize  the  thought  that  the  improvement 
of  rural  credit  facilities  may  be  solved  through  several  ap- 
proaches and  not  by  any  single  agency,  and  that  the  full 
solution  of  the  problem  involves  the  general  improvement 
of  agricultural  conditions,  greater  permanency,  and  greater 

This  second  problem  is  how  to  improve  conditions  under 
which  farmers  may  get  short-time  loans.  Here  again  we 
encounter  special  conditions  and  special  needs.  All  sections 
again  are  not  equally  circumstanced.  The  small  farmer 
with  little  credit,  or  the  farmer  who  is  just  getting  himself 
established,  is  the  one  to  whom  attention  would  naturally  be 
directed.  The  operations  of  many  of  them,  taken  singly,  are 
too  small  to  engage  the  attention  of  those  who  have  capital 

36  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

to  lend,  and  in  many  cases  the  situation  is  so  precarious  as 
to  prevent  favorable  consideration  of  requests  for  loans. 

It  is,  of  course,  requisite  that  a  credit  foundation  exist; 
that  there  should  be  the  usual  combination  of  character  and 
security,  but  even  where  these  conditions  are  satisfied  the 
situation  is  still  unsatisfactory.  The  suggestion  of  the  for- 
mation of  farmers'  credit  unions  merits  serious  consideration. 
The  aim  of  such  organizations  is  not  to  supply  a  new  banking 
system  but  rather  to  establish  a  credit  foundation  or  to 
utilize  a  collective  good  will  which  does  not  exist  so  long  as 
the  farmer  acts  individually.  In  this  field  Europe  has 
developed  beyond  us.  To  what  extent  their  institutions  can 
be  followed  here  needs  serious  study.  It  is  probable  that  the 
unlimited  liability  feature  of  some  of  their  schemes  will  not 
appeal  to  American  farmers  in  most  sections  of  the  Union. 
Nevertheless,  in  those  parts  of  the  country  where  the  system 
of  merchants'  advances  to  farmers  has  brought  a  great  many 
borrowers  into  the  relation  where  their  individual  liabilities 
to  the  lenders  is  already  unlimited,  it  would  not  seem  to  be 
revolutionary  to  encourage  the  establishment  of  local  cooper- 
ative credit  societies  and  to  transfer  the  features  of  unlimited 
liability  of  the  borrower  to  a  group  of  producers. 

The  main  thing  is  to  develop,  either  through  individual  or 
group  action,  a  credit  foundation  and  a  form  of  security  which 
will  attract  existing  capital,  partly  perhaps  through  existing 

In  taking  action  in  this  field  of  rural  credits  it  would  seem 
desirable  that  we  bear  certain  guiding  principles  in  mind. 
There  does  not  seem  to  be  any  real  demand  or  need  for  action 
which  would  do  more  than  provide  as  adequate  financial 
machinery  for  the  rural  districts  within  practicable  limits  as 
is  provided  for  other  sections.  There  does  not  appear  to  be 
need  for  unique  legislation  or  for  legislation  which  shall  aim 
to  give  the  farmer  credit  on  easier  terms  than  other  members 
of  society  secure.  What  is  needed  is  the  creation  of  condi- 
tions and  machinery  which  shall  enable  him  on  similar  credit 
foundations  to  secure  money  at  the  same  rates  as  those  that 
prevail  for  other  classes.  Present  conditions  do  not  seem  to 
justify  proposals  to  give  any  class,  of  people  capital  provided 
by  all  the  people  through  any  device  at  lower  rates  of  inter- 
est than  economic  conditions  normally  require  or  than  those 

Report  of  the  Secretary.  37 

at  which  other  classes  secure  it  under  similar  conditions. 
Certainly  the  American  farmers  themselves  will  examine 
every  method  of  improvement  suggested  within  the  fields 
of  self-help  before  seeking  special  provision  for  agricultural 
industry  through  national  loans  or  other  devices. 


Even  though  the  problem  of  how  the  farmer  can  best  sell 
his  produce  and  can  improve  the  conditions  under  which  he 
can  secure  the  necessary  capital  were  solved,  there  would 
still  remain  vital  things  to  be  accomplished  before  rural  life 
can  be  made  fully  efficient,  profitable,  healthful,  pleasurable, 
and  attractive,  and  before  a  larger  disposition  to  remain  on 
the  farm  develops.  Good  roads  are  prerequisite  for  better 
marketing,  for  better  schools,  and  for  more  comfortable  rural 
living.  Better  sanitation  and  hygiene  in  the  home,  in  the 
school,  and  in  the  community  are  just  as  vital  for  the  rural 
community  as  for  the  urban.  Many  agencies  are  attacking 
these  problems.  It  is  highly  important  that  the  local  politi- 
cal machinery  shall  be  more  fully  vitalized  and  become  more 
efficient  in  its  care  of  community  welfare. 

Much  of  the  work  of  the  improvement  of  rural  conditions 
lies  outside  the  field  of  immediate  effort  of  the  Department  of 
Agriculture,  but  it  is  attacking  directly  more  of  these  prob- 
lems than  is  commonly  recognized  and  will  leave  nothing 
undone'  to  contribute  directly  to  their  solution.  It  is  clear 
that  much  time  and  great  patience  are  essential  and  that 
some  of  the  results  desired  will  come  early  in  the  future,  many 
of  them  as  by-products  of  the  work  of  the  various  agencies. 

The  department  is  giving  special  attention  to  the  subject  of 
farm  management  with  the  view  of  rendering  to  the  farmer 
service  similar  to  that  rendered  to  the  business  man  and  the 
manufacturer  by  efficiency  experts  and  engineers. 

It  is  proposed  especially  to  emphasize  the  enforcement  of 
the  food  and  drugs  act,  so  far  as  the  law  permits,  for  the 
better  protection  of  all  the  people,  rural  as  well  as  urban. 
Much  of  this  work  must  of  necessity  take  the  form  of  con- 
structive education;  that  is,  of  placing  in  the  hands  of  the 
people  and  of  their  officials  information  necessary  for  pro- 
tection, and  of  giving  them  cooperative  assistance. 

38  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

This  work  could  be  very  much  extended  if  the  States,  in 
addition  to  efficient,  well-organized  State  health  boards,  had 
machinery  extending  into  each  community  in  charge  of  full- 
time  experts. 

An  intimation  of  the  work  the  department  is  doing  to 
protect  health  may  be  conveyed  by  reference  to  its  study  of 
insects  which  carry  disease  throughout  the  country. 


In  the  case  of  a  number  of  these  insect  pests,  they  inti- 
mately affect  agriculture.  A  striking  example  is  malaria, 
which  prevents  the  proper  agricultural  development  of  enor- 
mous areas  of  fertile  land  in  the  United  States  and  greatly 
reduces  the  efficiency  of  plantation  labor.  The  work  regard- 
ing malarial  mosquitoes  carried  on  during  the  year  consists 
in  determining  the  insect  losses  which  occur  and  the  formu- 
lation of  plans  of  control  suitable  for  plantation  conditions. 

The  house  fly,  known  to  carry  typhoid  fever  and  other  dis- 
eases of  men,  has  been  studied  for  some  time.  Recently  this 
study  has  centered  on  the  discovery  of  effective  and  econom- 
ical methods  of  destroying  flies  in  their  breeding  places.  The 
chief  breeding  place  of  the  fly  is  the  manure  heap,  and  it  has 
been  realized  that  a  method  must  be  discovered  which  will 
kill  the  fly  and  yet  not  lessen  the  value  of  the  fertilizer.  Sat- 
isfactory progress  has  been  made,  and  an  announcement  con- 
cerning new  methods  probably  will  be  issued  before  the  end 
of  the  year.  An  investigation  of  the  stable  fly,  which  is  an 
important  enemy  of  live  stock  and  also  is  suspected  of  carry- 
ing infantile  paralysis  and  other  diseases,  has  been  in  progress. 
Studies  have  been  made  of  the  Rocky  Mountain  spotted-fever 
tick  with  a  view  to  the  eradication  of  this  pest  in  a  locality  in 
Montana  where  an  especially  virulent  phase  of  the  disease 
existed.  Still  another  investigation  had  to  do  with  the  pos- 
sibility that  pellagra  is  transmitted  by  insects.  This  has  not 
yet  been  demonstrated.  If  insect  transmission  is  proven, 
however,  another  important  malady  will  be  added  to  the  list 
of  those  which  may  best  be  dealt  with  by  controlling  the 
insect  carrier. 

THE    WOMAN    ON    THE    FARM. 

The  woman  on  the  farm  is  a  most  important  economic  fac- 
tor in  agriculture.  Her  domestic  work  undoubtedly  has  a 
direct  bearing  on  the  efficiency  of  the  field  workers,  her  han- 

Report  of  the  Secretary .  39 

dling  of  the  home  and  its  surroundings  contributes  to  the  cash 
intake,  and,  in  addition,  hers  is  largely  the  responsibility  for 
contributing  the  social  and  other  features  which  make  farm 
life  satisfactory  and  pleasurable.  On  her  rests  largely  the 
moral  and  mental  development  of  the  children,  and  on  her 
attitude  depends  in  great  part  the  important  question  of 
whether  the  succeeding  generation  will  continue  to  farm  or 
will  seek  the  allurements  of  life  in  the  cities. 

According  to  the  testimony  of  many  who  are  thoroughly 
familiar  with  conditions,  the  needs  of  the  farm  woman  have 
been  largely  overlooked  by  existing  agricultural  agencies. 
Endeavor  has  been  largely  focused  on  inducing  the  field  work- 
ers to  install  effective  agricultural  machinery  and  to  employ 
the  best  methods  of  crop  production.  The  facts  that  the 
woman's  work  and  time  have  a  real  monetary  value  and  that 
her  strength  is  not  unlimited  have  not  been  given  the  consid- 
eration they  deserve.  As  a  result,  on  many  farms  where  there 
is  always  money  enough  to  buy  the  latest  agricultural  appli- 
ance there  is  seldom  a  surplus  to  provide  the  woman  in  her 
productive  work  with  power  machinery  that  will  lighten  her 
physical  labor,  running  water  that  will  relieve  her  of  the 
burden  of  carrying  from  the  pump  all  water  used  in  the  house- 
hold, or  kitchen  equipment  and  household  devices  that  will 
save  her  time,  increase  her  efficiency,  and  enable  her  to  make 
important  monetary  saving. 


The  department  believes  that  intelligent  help  to  women  in 
matters  of  home  management  will  contribute  directly  to  the 
agricultural  success  of  the  farm.  It  purposes,  therefore,  to 
ask  Congress  for  means  and  authority  to  make  more  complete 
studies  of  domestic  conditions  on  the  farm,  to  experiment 
with  labor-saving  devices  and  methods,  and  to  study  com- 
pletely the  question  of  practical  sanitation  and  hygienic  pro- 
tection for  the  farm  family. 

The  farmer's  wife  rarely  has  access  to  the  cities  where  labor- 
saving  devices  are  on  competitive  exhibit,  nor  does  she  often 
meet  with  other  women  who  are  trying  these  devices  and  gain 
from  them  first-hand  information.  It  seems  important, 
therefore,  that  the  department,  cooperating  with  the  proper 
State  institutions,  should  be  ready  to  give  the  farm  home 

40  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

practical  advice.  Some  work  has  already  been  accomplished 
in  studying  the  problems  of  nutrition  and  advising  the  women 
in  the  country  as  to  the  economical  use  of  various  foods  and 
methods  of  using  these  foods  to  obtain  variety  in  diet.  Ap- 
parently, there  is  need  also  for  advice  on  general  diets  that  will 
be  healthful  and  varied,  because  the  farm  home  usually  has 
but  a  limited  number  of  foods  at  its  disposal  and  has  not  the 
opportunity  to  add  novelties  to  the  diet,  such  as  the  city 
woman  finds  in  her  convenient  store. 


To  ascertain  the  fields  in  which  farm  women  desire  specific 
assistance,  a  letter  of  inquiry  was  addressed  to  the  house- 
wives of  55,000  progressive  farmers  in  all  the  counties  of  the 
United  States.  This  letter  asked  no  questions  and  left  every 
woman  free  to  discuss  any  need  which  occurred  to  her.  She 
was  invited  to  take  the  matter  up  with  her  neighbors  and 
make  a  reply  which  represented  not  merely  her  personal  need 
but  the  recognized  need  of  the  women  of  her  community. 
Replies  to  this  letter  have  been  received  in  great  numbers. 
Time  has  been  lacking  for  a  complete  analysis  of  these  letters, 
but  from  those  which  have  been  read  so  far  it  is  evident  that 
women  want  help  in  practically  every  phase  of  home  man- 
agement, from  the  rearing  and  care  of  children  to  methods 
of  getting  the  heavy  work,  such  as  washing,  done  by  coopera- 
tive agencies.  Many  women  seek  means  of  increasing  the 
precious  personal  income  which  they  receive  from  poultry, 
butter  making,  or  the  garden  in  their  care.  Many  asked  the 
department  to  suggest  new  handicrafts  or  gainful  home  occu- 
pations, and  others  seek  better  means  of  marketing  the  pre- 
serves, cakes,  or  fancy  work  that  they  now  produce. 

The  overwork  of  farm  women  and  their  fear  of  the  effect 
of  overwork  on  their  children  is  the  text  of  many  of  these 
letters.  The  difficulty  of  securing  domestic  help,  due 
seemingly  to  the  fact  that  daughers  of  farmers  no  longer  take 
positions  as  home  makers,  has  added  to  the  farm  housekeep- 
er's burden.  Many  ask  the  department  to  prove  to  the  men 
that  their  work  is  worth  something  in  dollars  and  cents. 
Still  others  express  a  realization  that  their  own  lot  is  hopeless 
and  self-sacrificingly  ask  that  better  things  in  the  way  of 
education,  cheaper  schoolbooks,  improved  schools,  lectures, 

Report  of  the  Secretary.  41 

libraries,  and  museums  be  provided  for  their  children.  Many 
request  that  the  department  establish  a  woman's  bureau,  and 
issue  weekly  or  other  publications  designed  for  women  and 
dealing  with  matters  of  cooking,  clothing,  home  furnishing, 
education  of  children,  care  of  the  sick,  etc. 


The  realization  that  information  of  great  value  to  the  peo- 
ple is  being  gathered  by  the  department's  specialists  more 
rapidly  than  it  could  be  circulated  led  to  a  revision  of  the 
system  of  publication  and  to  the  establishment  of  a  special 
information  service. 


It  is  fully  realized  by  the  department  that  the  printed  page 
or  written  statement,  or  even  the  institute  address,  can  never 
be  as  effective  in  getting  the  farmer  to  understand  and  adopt 
practical  methods  as  the  man-to-man  cooperative  work  of  the 
demonstration  service.  Unfortunately,  however,  it  is  impos- 
sible at  present  to  reach  every  farmer  even  once  a  year  by 
word  of  mouth,  and  it  will  always  be  impossible  to  send  direct 
messages  to  him  to  communicate  new  discoveries  without 
delay.  In  planning  the  new  system  of  publications  and  the 
information  service  the  aim  has  been  to  reach  with  the  least 
delay  the  largest  possible  number  with  the  printed  message 
and  to  place  it  in  their  hands  in  a  form  which  will  approximate 
as  nearly  as  possible  the  work  of  the  demonstration  agent. 

Accordingly,  on  July  1, 1913,  a  new  plan  of  publication  work 
was  adopted,  constituting  a  decided  change  in  the  character 
and  classification  of  the  department's  publications,  the  object 
being  to  draw  a  sharp  line  between  the  strictly  scientific  and 
popular  publications,  so  as  to  prevent  the  waste  arising  from 
the  miscellaneous  distribution  of  the  scientific  bulletins  and 
to  make  a  wiser  distribution  of  the  popular  publications. 
The  confusion  which  has  always  existed  as  the  result  of  a 
multiplicity  of  series  of  publications  has  been  eliminated, 
so  that  instead  of  having  no  less  than  40  different  series 
there  are  at  present  but  4,  namely,  (1)  departmental  bul- 
letins, in  which  the  popular  and  semitechnical  results  of  in- 
vestigations are  published,  and  of  which  50  have  already 
been  issued;  (2)  the  serial  publications  (including  the  Journal 

42  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

of  Agricultural  Research,  for  the  strictly  scientific  papers, 
and  the  experiment  Station  Record);  (3)  the  Farmers' 
Bulletins,  which  are  to  be  reduced  in  size  and  designed  to 
give  specific  directions  for  doing  things,  with  the  object  of 
making  them  more  popular  and  useful;  and  (4)  annual  re- 
ports and  other  congressional  publications,  including  the 
Yearbook  and  Soil  Surreys,  all  of  which  are  to  be  reduced 
in  size  and  made  more  readable. 

The  demand  for  information  which  the  people  have  a  right 
to  obtain  from  the  department  was  never  as  great  as  it  is 
to-day,  and  the  new  classification  affords  an  economical 
and  satisfactory  way  of  meeting  the  requirements  of  all  who 
are  interested  in  our  work. 


The  edition  of  any  single  bulletin  or  publication  neces- 
sarily is  limited,  and  in  consequence  can  reach  but  a  small  per- 
centage of  the  population  that  could  make  use  of  it.  In  ad- 
dition, it  was  found  that  there  was  much  valuable  material 
which,  to  be  useful,  ought  to  be  gotten  into  the  hands  of 
the  people  within  a  few  days  or  hours,  and  which  if  subjected 
to  the  necessary  delay  of  formal  printing  would  be  of  little 
service.  The  Office  of  Information  was  therefore  established 
for  the  purpose  of  preparing  brief  popular  statements  of  facts, 
which  are  to  be  supplied  to  the  country.  This  office  gathers 
these  facts  from  the  printed  material  and  from  the  typewrit- 
ten report  and  by  direct  interview  with  the  specialists. 
This  material  is  then  prepared  in  simple  news  form,  mimeo- 
graphed, and  given  to  the  papers,  particularly  in  the  special 
districts  to  which  it  applies.  It  is  also  issued  in  the  form  of 
a  weekly  letter,  which  is  sent  to  more  than  50,000  crop  cor- 
respondents and  progressive  farmers.  The  notice  may  take 
the  form  of  warnings  against  frauds  in  seeds  and  foods, 
notices  of  quarantine  against  plants  or  animals,  advice  as 
to  means  of  combating  crop  or  animal  pests,  or  general  in- 
formation as  to  the  handling  of  various  crops.  The  several 
publications  to  which  they  are  sent  apparently  are  finding 
that  these  notices  are  of  interest  and  value  to  their  readers. 
The  material  sent  out  by  this  office  is  limited  entirely  to 
making  known  the  facts  of  discovery  and  the  official  rulings 
of  the  department. 

Report  of  the  Secretary.  43 


Reference  has  been  made  to  proposed  changes  in  legislation 
making  for.  closer  relations  with  agricultural  institutions 
within  the  States,  especially  the  agricultural  colleges  and 
experiment  stations.  It  is  self-evident  that  no  very  sharp 
line  of  distinction  can  be  drawn  between  the  functions  of  the 
Federal  Government  and  those  of  the  agricultural  colleges 
and  stations. 

Certain  guiding  principles,  however,  may  be  proposed,  and 
if  these  are  observed  there  need  be  no  fear  of  conflict.  As 
might  be  expected  in  a  country  growing  as  rapidly  as  ours, 
where  conditions  affecting  agriculture  are  so  changeable, 
relations  between  the  institutions  within  the  States  and 
between  the  State  institutions  and  the  Federal  department 
have  not  always  been  as  satisfactory  as  might  be  desired. 
As  the  work  progresses  it  becomes  more  and  more  evident 
that  the  Department  of  Agriculture  has  well-defined  func- 
tions, such  as  those  controlling  regulatory  matters  where 
interstate  commerce  is  concerned,  broad  questions  of  admin- 
istration affecting  the  conservation  of  soils,  waters,  and  for- 
ests, studies  of  meteorology  in  its  relation  to  commerce,  and 
other  problems  of  this  nature.  The  Federal  Government  is 
also  concerned  with  research  problems,  especially  those 
affecting  regulatory  matters  and  the  broader  administrative 
questions  already  discussed.  Its  research  work,  therefore, 
should  lie  in  regional  rather  than  in  local'fields.  The  Fed- 
eral Government  accumulates  a  large  amount  of  information 
which  it  should  place  in  the  hands  of  the  people,  especially 
the  people  on  the  farms  and  in  the  farm  homes.  The  States 
are  concerned  with  educational  matters,  with  research,  and 
with  the  extension  of  the  results  of  research. 


As  the  Federal  Government  makes  appropriations  for  this 
type  of  work  within  the  States  and  is  also  making  appro- 
priations to  the  Federal  department  direct,  it  is  proper  that 
all  the  agencies  coordinate  their  activities  in  such  fashion  as 
will  bring  the  best  results  and  preserve  the  integrity  of  the 
institutions  involved.     Unquestionably  these  relations  can 

44  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

be  brought  about  without  compulsion  of  law.  They  may 
be  accomplished  voluntarily  by  the  men  in  the  various 
institutions  directing  the  work. 

In  order  that  a  proper  understanding  of  relations  might 
be  secured,  several  conferences  have  been  held  with  the 
executive  committee  of  the  Association  of  Agricultural  Col- 
leges and  Experiment  Stations.  As  a  result  of  these  con- 
ferences there  developed  certain  views  which  have  been 
formulated  in  the  following  memorandum.  This  memoran- 
dum was  signed  by  all  the  members  of  the  executive  com- 
mittee and  was  approved  by  me. 

The  executive  committee  of  the  Association  of  American  Agricultural 
Colleges  and  Experiment  Stations  desires  to  express  to  the  honorable  Sec- 
retary of  Agriculture  its  great  gratification  at  the  attitude  of  his  depart- 
ment in  its  effort  to  bring  about  a  closer  and  more  efficient  relationship 
between  the  work  of  the  department  and  that  of  the  colleges  and  experi- 
ment stations. 

(1)  The  executive  committee  heartily  indorses  the  suggestion  of  the 
Secretary  that  as  a  means  of  inaugurating  and  perpetuating  an  intelligent 
and  sympathetic  cooperation  of  these  agencies  there  be  established  a  per- 
manent committee  on  the  general  relations  of  the  department  and  the 
colleges,  said  committee  to  be  made  up  of  representatives  from  both  the 
department  and  the  association. 


(1)  The  executive  committee  cordially  agrees  with  the  point  of  view  of 
the  Secretary  that  the  primary  function  of  the  Federal  department  is  to 
undertake  the  study  of  problems  that  are  more  particularly  regional,  inter- 
state, and  international  in  character,  and  that  upon  the  stations- should 
rest  the  responsibility  of  investigating  the  problems  that  arise  wifhin  their 
respective  States 

This  general  policy  is  not  to  debar  a  union  of  effort  by  the  department 
and  a  given  station  in  the  study  of  a  problem  whenever  it  becomes  evident 
that  such  cooperation  is  necessary  or  will  tend  to  a  more  successful  outcome. 

(2)  Whenever  the  department  finds  it  desirable  to  study  a  problem  within 
a  given  State,  harmonious  relations  and  an  intelligent  understanding  would 
undoubtedly  be  promoted  by  a  consultation  between  the  department  and 
the  State's  station  prior  to  its  inauguration.  In  case  a  station  is  unable  to 
cooperate  in  the  work  or  does  not  desire  to  do  so,  it  should  lend  sympathetic 
and  advisory  support. 

(3)  Unqualified  approval  is  given  to  the  proposal  of  the  Secretary  that 
in  order  to  assist  in  the  carrying  out  of  the  policy  of  cooperation  there  be 
organized  a  joint  committee  on  correlation  of  research,  to  be  made  up  of 
representatives  from  the  department  and  the  college  and  station  association, 
one  function  of  said  committee  to  be  the  preparation  for  early  publication 
by  the  department  of  a  list  of  scientific  projects  to  be  undertaken  by  both 
the  department  and  the  stations.     This  committee  should  also  be  empow- 

Beport  of  the  Secretary.  45 

ered  to  assist  in  any  feasible  way  in  correlating  the  work  of  the  National 
and  State  research  agencies  in  such  manner  as  shall  promote  efficiency  in 
securing  results. 

(4)  Equally  emphatic  approval  is  given  to  the  plan  of  holding  group 
conferences  between  the  scientific  specialists  of  the  department  and  the 
stations.  It  would  seem  desirable  and  perhaps  necessary  that  owing  to 
financial  conditions  within  the  association  and  stations  the  necessary  ex- 
penses of  such  conferences  should  be  met  from  a  fund  administered  by  the 

(5)  It  seems  to  be  mutually  agreed  that  in  order  to  make  available  to 
students  of  science  the  research  work  of  the  department  and  stations  and 
to  promote  its  standing  in  the  scientific  world  there  should  be  published 
by  the  department  a  journal  of  agricultural  research,  such  journal  to  con- 
tain only  those  contributions  from  the  department  and  stations  as  are 
viseed  by  the  committee  selected  for  that  purpose. 


The  executive  committee  approves  the  policy  of  unifying  the  adminis- 
tration of  the  extension  service  and  is  desirous  of  assisting  in  securing 
Federal  legislation  to  that  end  on  the  basis  of  the  following  principles  and 

(a)  That  the  extension  service  shall  be  administered  wholly  under  the 
immediate  direction  of  the  college  of  agriculture.'  State  leaders  of  exten- 
sion service  shall  be  appointed  by  said  colleges  and  shall  be  recognized  as 
college  officials. 

(6)  That  extension-service  projects  maintained  by  Federal  funds  shall 
be  entered  upon  only  after  mutual  approval  by  the  department  and  the 

(c)  That  the  funds  to  be  applied  to  the  maintenance  of  the  extension 
service  shall  be  secured  through  congressional  appropriations  made  to  the 
Federal  departments  to  be  distributed  to  the  several  States  as  provided 
by  law,  on  the  basis  of  the  fundamental  provisions  embodied  in  the  Lever 
bill  (H.  R.  1692). 

(d)  It  is  understood  that  the  appropriations  made  for  extension  service 
by  the  several  States  shall  be  under  their  control. 

(e)  It  is  further  understood  that  the  (Federal)  moneys  appropriated  to  ex- 
tension service  shall  all  be  expended  under  the  plans  and  agreements 
mutually  approved  by  the  department  and  colleges,  and  that  no  outside 
cooperative  arrangement  for  maintaining  extension  service  shall  be  made 
with  any  corporation  or  commercial  body,  excepting  as  a  corporation  or 
commercial  body  may  wish  to  donate  funds  to  be  administered  in  extension 
service  exclusively  by  the  colleges  of  agriculture  in  consultation  with  the 

Carrying  out  the  recommendations  set  forth  in  this  memo- 
randum, steps  have  been  taken  to  organize  several  commit- 
tees. The  purpose  of  these  committees  will  be  to  bring 
about  closer  relations  with  the  State  institutions  and  the  de- 

46  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

There  will  be  a  committee  on  relations,  a  committee  on  pro- 
jects and  correlation  of  work,  and  a  committee  on  publica- 
tion of  research. 

As  a  further  result  of  the  conferences  and  memorandum, 
the  principles  set  forth  with  reference  to  extension  have  been 
embodied  in  a  bill  providing  for  such  work,  which  was  in- 
troduced by  the  Hon.  Hoke  Smith  in  the  Senate  and  the 
Hon.  Asbury  F.  Lever  in  the  House.  This  bill,  it  is  believed, 
will  furnish  the  necessary  machinery  for  bringing  about  the 
closest  relationship  between  the  department  and  the  several 
States  in  the  matter  of  extension  service.  It  will  enable  the 
department  to  coordinate  more  clearly  its  work  and  so  to 
handle  it  as  to  have  the  agricultural  colleges  as  the  means  by 
which  it  is  conducted. 


In  connection  with  the  administration  of  the  Hatch  and 
Adams  Acts,  attention  is  called  to  another  important  matter 
which  should  have  consideration.  Efficient  station  work 
demands  an  atmosphere  of  fairness  and  justice  and  reasonable 
security  to  the  staff.  It  furthermore  requires  stability  of 
policy  and  the  highest  possible  measure  of  continuity  in  work 
and  in  personnel.  Money  spent  on  discontinued  or  inter- 
rupted projects  is  usually  very  largely  wasted.  The  director  of 
the  station,  as  the  guiding  head,  is  mainly  responsible  for  the 
success  of  the  station.  A  good  station  and  a  good  director  go 
together.  The  station  director  deserves  to  be  sustained  and 
supported  by  the  governing  board  in  carrying  out  the  general 
policy  after  it  is  approved  by  them.  A  change  in  the  director 
is  inevitably  a  temporary  shock  to  the  work,  often  interrupts 
projects,  causes  changes  in  the  policy  and  personnel,  and 
creates  an  era  of  uncertainty;  hence,  a  change  is  not  justified 
except  when  clearly  indicated  by  incompetence  or  inability. 
In  the  discharge  of  its  functions  in  administering  the  Federal 
funds  and  in  seeing  that  they  are  properly  used,  the  De- 
partment of  Agriculture  should  not  fail  to  take  cognizance 
of  so  important  and  vital  a  change  as  that  of  director. 

The  Adams  Act  directs  that  the  Secretary  of  Agriculture 
shall  each  year  ascertain  and  certify  to  the  Secretary  of  the 
Treasury  as  to  each  State  and  Territory,  whether  it  is  comply- 
ing with  the  provisions  of  this  act  and  is  entitled  to  receive  a 

Report  of  the  Secretary.  47 

share  of  the  annual  appropriation.  It  authorizes  the  Secre- 
tary to  withhold  certification,  thus  suspending  payment,  and 
to  report  the  matter  to  Congress.  While  the  right  of  the  col- 
leges to  direct  the  stations  within  their  States  and  select  the 
members  of  the  station  staff  is  recognized,  radical  changes 
in  the  personnel  or  policy  of  the  station,  except  for  good  and 
valid  reasons,  should,  it  is  believed,  be  held  to  be  unwarranted 
interference  of  the  governing  board  with  the  conduct  of  the 
station.  Such  action  fails  to  recognize  the  cardinal  principles 
of  efficient  administration  and  places  an  institution  in  a  posi- 
tion of  inability  to  properly  employ  the  Federal  funds.  It  is 
believed  that  such  a  condition  does  not  warrant  the  Federal 
Government  in  continuing  to  advance  funds  to  the  college  or 
its  experiment  station,  and  should  lead  to  the  withhold- 
ing of  funds  until  conditions  favorable  to  their  effective  use 
are  restored. 



The  largest  task  of  the  department  in  forestry  is  the  ad- 
ministration of  the  national  forests.  The  department  is  also 
developing  the  science  of  forestry  and  getting  it  into  actual 
practice  on  private  as  well  as  public  lands.  This  is  being 
accomplished  through  demonstration  of  practical  forestry 
on  the  national  forests,  cooperation  with  States  in  developing 
State  forest  organizations,  and  assistance  to  States  in  pro- 
tection of  forests  on  the  headwaters  of  navigable  rivers, 
experimental  work  to  determine  the  best  methods  of  forestry, 
research  in  problems  of  utilization  of  forest  products  and 
saving  of  waste,  and  general  educational  work. 

The  primary  objects  of  the  national  forests  are  to  protect 
the  public  timber,  to  produce  a  continuous  supply  of  timber 
on  lands  not  required  for  agriculture,  and  to  protect  the 
sources  of  water  used  for  navigation,  irrigation,  water  power, 
domestic  supplies,  and  other  purposes. 


The  department  is  classifying  the  national  forest  lands  to 
segregate  those  chiefly  valuable  for  agriculture  and  to  estab- 
lish permanent  boundaries  of  the  areas  required  for  the  pro- 
duction of  timber  and  for  water  protection.     Every  consider  a- 

48  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

tion,  not  only  of  development  of  the  States  but  of  protecting 
and  increasing  the  use  of  the  resources  of  the  forests,  makes 
it  desirable  to  further  the  agricultural  development  of  land 
in  the  forests  suited  to  farming.  The  department  is  making 
rapid  progress  in  the  classification  work  and  aims  to  segre- 
gate the  larger  bodies  of  agricultural  land  within  two  years. 
At  the  same  time  the  establishment  of  the  permanent  bound- 
aries of  the  areas  to  be  used  for  forest  production  and  pro- 
tection of  watersheds  will  enable  the  concentration  of  the 
expenditures  in  protection,  improvements,  and  reforestation 
where  they  will  yield  permanent  results. 

Similar  work  should  be  done  outside  the  national  forests. 
Public  lands  valuable  only  for  forest  purposes— that  is,  for 
growing  timber  and  protecting  water  flow — are  now  exposed 
to  fire  and  trespass  and  often  endanger  the  forests  under 
protection.  Legislation  is  called  for  to  provide  that  these 
lands  be  classified  and  added  to  the  national  forests. 


In  administering  the  national  forests  the  department  is 
handling  a  very  large  business  enterprise.  The  forests  will 
be  made  self-supporting  as  rapidly  as  possible.  Earnings 
are  increasing.  The  increase  for  1913  over  1912  was  over 
$300,000,  or  15  per  cent.  Many  forests  already  return  more 
than  their  operating  cost,  and  their  number  will  rapidly  grow 
under  the  present  vigorous  timber-sale  policy.  Most  of  the 
timber  is  still  far  from  a  market,  often  requiring  the  construc- 
tion of  from  20  to  75  miles  of  railroad  by  purchasers.  With 
improved  conditions  the  heavily  timbered  forests  will  soon 
yield  returns  sufficient  to  meet  the  deficit  on  forests  held 
primarily  for  watershed  protection. 


The  first  great  task  is  to  protect  the  forests  from  injury 
and  destruction  by  fire.  The  inflammability  of  the  forests, 
the  long  dry  seasons,  the  lack  of  means  of  transportation 
and  communication,  and  the  carelessness  of  many  individu- 
als make  this  work  peculiarly  difficult.  From  2,000  to  3,000 
fires  a  year  are  started  on  the  forests.  Our  efforts  must  be 
to  reduce  the  number  by  removing  all  preventable  causes 
of  fire,  and  to  be  equipped  to  handle  promptly  every  fire 
that  starts.     The  timber  alone  is  worth  about  $1,000,000,000. 

Report  of  the  Secretary.  49 

The  money  spent  on  protection,  a  little  over  2  cents  an  acre, 
is  cheap  insurance. 


The  national  forests  must  be  made  to  grow  all  the  timber 
that  they  can;  they  must  supply  the  needs  of  the  public 
at  as  low  cost  to  the  public  as  possible;  and  they  must  be 
so  managed  as  to  protect  the  public  against  timber  monopoly 
through  private  control  of  stumpage  or  of  the  manufacture 
of  lumber. 

Full  production  means  that  lands  now  unstocked  or  par- 
tially stocked  must  be  reforested  and  that  those  now  covered 
by  a  mature  stand  must  be  cut  over,  with  provision  for  the 
starting  of  a  new  crop.  The  most  pressing  immediate  need 
is,  next  to  fire  protection,  which  both  safeguards  the  present 
stand  and  promotes  reforestation  on  a  great  scale,  the  work- 
ing over  of  forests  where  most  of  the  crop  is  ripe.  Sales  of 
timber  are  being  aggressively  pushed  and  the  cut  is  rising 
yearly.  The  timber  is  sold  on  terms  and  conditions  which 
safeguard  the  public  against  the  evils  of  speculation  and  mo- 
nopoly. Full  value  for  the  public  timber  sold  for  commercial 
use  is  obtained  and  must  be  obtained  if  the  Government  is 
not  to  subsidize  those  business  enterprises  which  buy  the 


The  objects  of  regulated  use  of  the  range  for  grazing  are 
full  use  of  the  resource  without  injury  to  timber  growth  and 
water  flow,  the  encouragement  of  the  live-stock  industry, 
and  healthy  upbuilding  of  the  West  through  widely  diffused 
participation  in  the  range  privilege  by  small  owners.  The 
success  which  has  been  attained  in  restoring  the  productivity 
of  ranges  depleted  by  the  unregulated  competition  of  former 
days,  in  working  out  methods  of  use  satisfactory  both  to  the 
stock  industry  and  to  the  public,  in  making  new  range  avail- 
able and  learning  how  to  use  all  kinds  of  range  to  best 
advantage,  and  in  developing  the  industry  along  lines  which 
contribute  to  home  building  and  diffuse  prosperity  shows 
what  true  conservation  means. 


There  are  very  great  power  possibilities  within  the  national 
forests.     Already  there  are  76  developed  projects  and  30 

27306°— YBK  1913 4 

50  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

under  construction.  As  the  market  for  power  increases 
there  will  be  a  much  greater  demand  than  at  present,  and 
the  Government  should  make  the  power  sites  available 
under  terms  which  will  not  only  encourage  the  investment  of 
capital  but  fully  insure  the  interests  of  the  public.  The 
chief  defect  of  the  present  law,  under  which  the  department 
is  working,  is  the  statutory  provision  permitting  the  granting 
only  of  a  revocable  franchise.  This  law  should  be  changed 
to  allow  for  the  use  of  land  for  power  purposes,  with  such 
provisions  as  may  be  needed  to  protect  the  investor  and  the 
using  public. 


No  use  of  the  forests  by  the  public  should  be  refused  if 
some  more  important  use  is  not  at  stake.  On  the  contrary, 
these  167,000,000  acres  of  our  country  should  be  made  to 
yield  the  largest  net  total  of  benefits  that  can  be  got  out  of 
them.  The  land  can  be  occupied  and  is  being  occupied  for 
a  great  variety  of  purposes  by  a  multitude  of  individuals. 
When  the  object  sought  involves  an  exclusive  privilege,  a 
special-use  permit  is  issued.  More  than  15,000  such  permits 
are  in  force.  A  vastly  greater  number  of  persons  visit  the 
forests  for  purposes  which  require  no  permit,  such  as  camp- 
ing, fishing,  hunting,  prospecting,  and  similar  objects.  The 
number  of  such  persons  last  year  exceeded  1,500,000. 

Recreational  use  of  the  forests  is  already  of  very  great 
importance,  and  will  be  much  greater  a  few  years  hence  than 
it  is  now.  The  value  of  the  forests  as  playgrounds  must  be 
recognized  and  so  provided  for  that  the  public  will  always 
find  full  opportunity  open  for  such  use.  To  the  extent  that 
the  law  permits,  this  is  being  done.  Full  development  of 
recreation  use  calls  for  legislation  to  permit  the  department 
to  grant  term  permits  for  the  occupancy  of  land  for  the  con- 
struction of  hotels,  summer  cottages,  and  similar  purposes,  as 
permits  may  now  be  granted  for  the  development  of  mineral 

Recreation  use  of  the  forests  must  be  surrounded  with 
safeguards  to  keep  the  water  supplies  of  cities  uncontam- 
inated,  and  must  be  controlled  to  the  extent  which  the  pre- 
servation of  natural  beauty  against  vandalism  and  unsightly 
conditions  involve.  As  public  playgrounds  the  national 
forests  will  increasingly  have  a  value  for  the  people  of  the 

Report  of  the  Secretary.  51 

country,  the  importance  of  which  it  is  impossible  to  over- 
state. As  protectors  of  water  supplies  for  domestic  use  their 
value  will  also  steadily  rise.  Already  over  1,200  cities  and 
towns  draw  their  supplies  from  national  forest  watersheds. 
Protection  both  of  regularity  and  of  purity  of.  such  supplies 
is  an  imperative  public  duty.  There  is  lacking  at  present 
adequate  authority  to  prevent  water  contamination  by 
campers,  prospectors,  and  others.  Legislation  to  enable 
the  department  to  cooperate  with  cities  and  towns  in  safe- 
guarding the  public  health  through  sanitary  regulation  of  the 
use  of  watersheds  is  an  urgent  need. 


There  has  been  a  steady  movement  for  better  roads  during 
the  past  20  years,  with  the  result  that  to-day  about  24  States 
have  highway  commissions  or  some  other  State  highway 
agency.  A  few  of  these  are  engaged  in  educational  work, 
but  most  of  them  are  expending  State  money  in  the  con- 
struction and  maintenance  of  roads.  So  rapid  has  been  the 
growth  of  this  work  that,  while  the  total  annual  expenditure 
of  the  States  for  this  purpose  amounted  to  but  $2,000,000 
10  years  ago,  it  has  grown  to  $43,000,000  in  1912.  The 
results 'are  in  evidence  in  the  form  of  thousands  of  miles  of 
well-constructed  roads  in  the  States  which  have  been  most 
liberal  in  providing  State  funds,  in  a  higher  standard  of 
supervision,  and  in  more  strict  accounting  for  the  financial 
•handling  of  the  work. 


With  the  growing  interest  in  road  construction  and  road 
maintenance  it  becomes  evident  that  the  relation  of  the  Fed- 
eral Government  to  this  work  should  be  defined.  It  is  be- 
lieved that  the  Federal  Government  should  take  the  lead  in 
investigational  and  experimental  work,  having  for  its  object 
the  securing  of  facts  necessary  for  the  most  economical 
methods  of  road  building  and  road  maintenance  under  the 
widely  varying  conditions  existing  in  the  United  States. 
There  is  need  for  a  central  agency  which  can  do  the  highest 
type  of  investigational  work  and  can  furnish  the  best  infor- 
mation on  all  problems  of  road  construction  and  road  main- 
tenance— an  agency,  in  short,  which  shall  be  able  to  say  the 

52  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

last  word  on  matters  pertaining  to  the  construction  and  main- 
tenance of  roads  and  to  road  administration.  The  depart- 
ment has  laboratories  for  testing  and  research  work,  issues 
numerous  publications  of  an  educational  character,  and 
employs  a  group  of  the  best  highway  and  engineer  experts 
obtainable.  It  has  actively  aided  the  States  and  communi- 
ties with  suggestions  or  advice  and  has  made  demonstrations 
of  its  methods  as  opportunity  has  offered.  The  function  of 
the  department  has  heretofore  been  primarily  educational, 
and  as  such  it  has  been  recognized  to  be  of  great  value. 


Recently  Congress  took  a  step  of  great  importance  and  sig- 
nificance. Under  conditions  specified  it  made  an  appropria- 
tion of  a  half  million  dollars,  "to  be  expended  by  the  Secre- 
tary of  Agriculture  in  cooperation  with  the  Postmaster 
General  in  improving  the  condition  of  roads  to  be  selected 
by  them  over  which  rural  delivery  is  or  may  hereafter  be 
established,"  and  provided  that  such  improvements  should 
be  made  under  the  supervision  of  the  Secretary  of  Agricul- 
ture. It  made  this  appropriation  contingent  on  the  appro- 
priation of  double  the  amount  of  money  for  such  improve- 
ment by  the  State  or  the  local  subdivision  thereof  in  which 
such  improvement  was  to  be  made.  As  the  regular  appro- 
priation for  the  Office  of  Public  Roads  is  approximately 
$300,000,  it  will  be  seen  that  the  Department  of  Agriculture 
has  been  charged  with  the  supervision  of  an  expenditure  for- 
roads  of  about  one  and  three-quarter  million  dollars.  The 
time  has  been  too  short  to  determine  fully  the  value  of  the 
experiment  authorized  by  Congress,  and  it  has  been  recom- 
mended that  it  be  continued  with  an  increased  appropriation. 


The  principle  of  cooperation  with  the  States  embodied  in 
the  action  of  Congress  referred  to  is  undoubtedly  a  helpful 
and  wise  one.  It  has  heretofore  characterized  the  relations 
of  the  department  with  the  States  in  its  educational  or  dem- 
onstrational  work.  It  is  believed  that  if  Federal  aid  is  to  be 
further  extended  in  the  construction  and  maintenance  of 
highways  any  legislation  to  that  end  should  incorporate  this 
principle.     It  seems  desirable  that  the  Federal  Government 

Report  of  the  Secretary.  53 

should  deal  with  the  State  as  the  lowest  unit  through  an 
expert  highway  commission  as  its  agency.  This  policy  would 
eliminate  the  difficulties  of  the  Federal  Government  in  deter- 
mining local  issues,  as  well  as  the  danger  of  undue  centralized 
Government  control.  In  order  to  stimulate  self-help  and  to 
prevent  undue  inroads  on  the  Federal  Treasury,  wherever 
Federal  aid  is  extended  for  construction  and  maintenance 
it  should  be  furnished  on  condition  that  the  States  provide 
an  appropriation  at  least  double  that  voted  by  the  Federal 
Government.  This  would  furnish  an  automatic  check.  The 
plans  should  probably  provide  for  maintenance  as  well  as 
construction,  in  order  to  prevent  the  possibility  of  the  con- 
struction of  roads  many  of  which  may  wear  out  before  the 
bonds  placed  upon  them  are  paid.  What  roads  should  be 
improved  is  a  matter  of  great  moment.  Unmistakably  the 
roads  of  greatest  economic  and  social  importance  are  those 
over  which  the  products  from  the  farms  can  be  taken  to  the 
nearest  railway  station  and  which  minister  to  the  other  eco- 
nomic and  social  needs  of  the  community.  It  would  be  de- 
sirable that  no  Federal  funds  should  be  expended  on  any 
project  until  a  scheme  of  road  construction  and  maintenance 
within  a  State  had  been  developed  and  previously  agreed 
upon  by  the  proper  representatives  of  the  State  and  of  the 
Federal  Government.  That  any  money  which  may  be  ap- 
propriated by  the  Federal  Government  should  be  apportioned 
on  the  basis  of  a  number  of  factors — such  as  total  population, 
farm  population,  area,  taxable  valuation,  and  mileage — needs 
no  detailed  comment. 


Expansion  of  the  department's  field  of  activity  during  the 
year  has  resulted  in  a  material  increase  in  the  legal  work  of 
the  department,  both  in  advice  upon  fundamental  questions 
underlying  the  administration  of  recent  acts  of  Congress  and 
in  the  preparation  of  cases  for  report  to  the  Attorney  General 
under  the  penal  provisions  of  these  statutes. 

The  provision  of  the  agricultural  appropriation  act  for  the 
fiscal  year  1914  regulating  interstate  and  foreign  commerce 
in  worthless,  contaminated,  dangerous,  and  harmful  viruses, 
serums,  toxins,  and  analogous  products  and  committing  to 
the  Secretary  of  Agriculture  the  administration  of  the  act 

54  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

adds  another  statute  in  the  execution  of  which  important 
legal  questions  arise. 

Arrangements  were  perfected  during  the  year  for  a  more 
expeditious  and  economical  handling  of  the  criminal  cases 
under  the  food  and  drugs  act  and  under  the  insecticide  act. 

There  were  transmitted  to  the  Department  of  Justice  1,048 
cases — 652  for  criminal  prosecution  and  396  for  seizure  of 
goods  under  section  10.  Twelve  hundred  and  fifty  cases, 
including  some  reported  in  previous  years,  were  terminated 
during  the  year — 848  criminal  and  402  civil.  Fines  amount- 
ing to  $23,463.50  were  imposed  in  596  of  the  criminal  cases, 
and  decrees  of  condemnation  and  forfeiture  were  entered 
in  365.  The  courts  have  evinced  a  disposition  to  impose 
severer  penalties  for  violations  of  this  act  than  in  the  past. 
Eight  hundred  and  sixty-seven  notices  of  judgment  were 

In  cooperation  with  the  Interior  Department  1,184  cases 
involving  claims  to  lands  within  the  national  forests  under 
the  homestead,  timber  and  stone,  mineral,  lieu  selection, 
and  other  general  and  special  land  laws  of  the  United  States 
were  handled.  As  a  result  of  the  adjudication  of  a  part  of 
these  cases,  73,000  acres  of  valuable  timbered  lands  were 
retained  in  the  forests. 

Four  hundred  and  thirty-six  cases  of  trespass  on  national 
forests  were  handled,  resulting  in  the  payment  into  the 
Treasury  of  the  United  States  of  $27,764.91. 

As  in  previous  years,  the  enforcement  of  the  28-hour  law 
has  proceeded  vigorously  and  effectively.  There  were  re- 
ported to  the  Attorney  General  1,037  apparent  violations  of 
the  statute,  406  more  than  in  the  previous  fiscal  year.  Pen- 
alties aggregating  $61,695  were  recovered. 

The  Court  of  Appeals  for  the  Second  Circuit  has  held  that 
connecting  carriers  are  bound  to  make  reasonable  inquiry 
as  to  the  length  of  time  live  stock  have  been  previously  con- 
fined in  cars  without  food,  rest,  and  water.  This  ruling 
will  have  a  marked  effect  in  the  attainment  of  the  purposes 
of  the  act. 

The  department  reported  to  the  Attorney  General  92 
apparent  violations  of  these  laws.  In  93  cases,  including 
some  reported  in  the  previous  year,  fines  aggregating  $10,275 
were  imposed. 

Report  of  the  Secretary.  55 

The  department  reported  81  apparent  violations  of  the 
meat-inspection  law  to  the  Attorney  General.  Convictions 
were  secured  in  64  cases,  including  a  few  reported  in  the  pre- 
vious year,  resulting  in  the  assessment  of  fines  to  the  amount 
of  $3,315.  In  seven  cases  sentences  of  imprisonment  from 
3  to  30  days  were  imposed. 

Increased  activity  of  the  department  in  the  matter  of 
enforcing  those  provisions  of  the  Penal  Code  regulating  inter- 
state commerce  in  game  and  wild  birds  resulted  in  the  sub- 
mission to  the  Attorney  General  of  154  cases,  73  of  which 
resulted  in  convictions  and  fines  amounting  to  $3,557. 


In  the  enforcement  of  the  insecticide  act  the  department 
has  to  do  with  two  classes  of  insecticides,  lead  arsenates, 
Paris  greens,  and  fungicides:  First,  those  which  enter  inter- 
state commerce  or  are  sold  or  manufactured  within  the  Dis- 
trict of  Columbia  or  the  Territories ;  and,  second,  those  offered 
for  import  into  the  United  States  at  its  various  ports  of  entry. 

The  analyses  and  testing  of  official  samples  and  the  investi- 
gational work  necessary  to  be  undertaken  have  two  general 
objects  in  view:  (1)  To  secure  data  on  which  to  base  an 
action  under  the  insecticide  act;  (2)  to  develop  scientific 
information  with  a  view  to  assisting  manufacturers  in  respect 
to  process  of  manufacture,  packing,  labeling,  and  shipping 
their  products  so  that  they  will  be  in  harmony  with  the  law. 

Efficient  enforcement  of  the  act  is  being  obtained  by  means 
of  prosecutions,  and  through  hearings  and  correspondence 
many  minor  faults  in  labels  have  been  adjusted  without  resort 
to  the  courts.  Signal  service  has  been  rendered  manufac- 
turers of  insecticides,  Paris  greens,  lead  arsenates,  and  fungi- 
cides in  bringing  to  their  attention  scientific  information 
relative  to  correcting  faulty  methods  of  manufacture,  faulty 
methods  of  analysis,  and  faulty  methods  of  test,  thereby 
aiding  them  to  place  better  products  on  the  market,  with 
more  correct  labels  and  of  more  certain  standard. 


The  act  of  Congress  of  March  4,  1913,  authorized  the  de- 
partment to  adopt  suitable  regulations  and  to  fix  close  seasons 
for  migratory  game  and  insectivorous  birds  according  to 
zones.     The  preparation  of  the  regulations  was  instrusted 

56  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

to  a  committee  of  three  members  of  the  Biological  Survey, 
and  after  due  publication  the  regulations  were  adopted  and 
approved  by  the  President  on  October  1 .  Under  these  regu- 
lations two  zones  were  established  and  five  forms  of  close 
seasons  prescribed — a  daily  close  season  extending  from 
sunset  to  sunrise  for  all  migratory  birds;  an  annual  close 
season  of  8|  or  9  months  for  game  birds ;  a  5-year  close  season 
for  certain  game  birds  in  danger  of  extermination;  a  per- 
petual close  season  for  insectivorous  birds;  and  a  perpetual 
close  season  for  birds  on  two  of  the  great  navigable  rivers. 

The  reception  of  these  regulations  by  the  public  has  been 
very  gratifying.  Except  in  a  few  localities  they  have  been 
welcomed.  The  chief  objections  have  been  to  the  prohibi- 
tion of  shooting  after  sunset  and  of  hunting  on  the  Mississippi 
and  Missouri  Rivers.  Their  effect  has  been  to  standardize 
the  seasons  for  hunting,  to  crystallize  public  sentiment 
against  spring  shooting  and  in  favor  of  a  reasonable  open  sea- 
son in  autumn,  and  to  arouse  general  interest  in  the  protec- 
tion of  our  migratory  birds. 

The  enforcement  of  the  law  presents  problems  even  more 
novel  and  difficult  than  the  preparation  of  the  regulations. 
On  account  of  the  limited  appropriation  made  by  Congress, 
it  is  necessary  to  depend  chiefly  on  cooperation  with  local 
authorities.  The  United  States  has  been  divided  into  13 
districts,  each  of  which  will  be  in  charge  of  an  experienced 
inspector  and  a  limited  force  of  wardens.  The  inspectors  are 
employed  by  the  department,  and  the  wardens  are  selected 
from  experienced  men  on  the  State  forces,  but  receive  only  a 
nominal  salary  from  the  department.  Through  cooperation 
with  other  branches  of  the  Federal  service  and  with  local 
authorities  much  may  be  accomplished.  In  the  few  weeks 
that  the  regulations  have  been  in  effect  the  field  force  has 
been  partially  organized  in  half  of  the  districts,  and  some 
interesting  results  have  already  been  obtained. 


The  purpose  of  the  Federal  quarantine  act  of  August  20, 
1912,  is  to  enable  the  Secretary  of  Agriculture  to  regulate  the 
importation  of  nursery  stock  and  other  plants  and  plant  prod- 
ucts, and  to  enable  him  to  establish  and  maintain  quarantine 
districts  for  plant  diseases  and  insect  pests  and  to  quarantine 

Report  of  the  Secretary.  57 

against  diseased  or  insect-infested  plants  or  plant  products  of 
foreign  countries.  The  act  is  being  effectively  administered 
by  a  Federal  horticultural  board  appointed  from  the  Bureaus 
of  Entomology  and  Plant  Industry  and  the  Forest  Service  of 
this  department,  in  cooperation  with  the  State,  Treasury,  and 
Post  Office  Departments  and  with  horticultural  inspectors  of 
the  several  States. 

All  nursery  stock  offered  for  entry  into  the  United  States 
comes  under  two  classes:  (1)  That  from  countries  having  an 
official  inspection  and  certification  system  and  from  which 
commercial  importations  are  permitted,  and  (2)  that  from 
countries  which  have  no  system  of  inspection  and  certifica- 
tion and  from  which  importations  are  limited  as  to  amount 
and  permitted  only  for  experimental  or  scientific  purposes. 
The  examination,  certification,  and  other  conditions  govern- 
ing importations  are  now  well  understood  by  importers. 
The  Federal  act  has  greatly  stimulated  foreign  countries  to 
do  better  inspection  and  to  provide  suitable  legislation  to 
meet  our  requirements.  The  result  of  this  is  now  evident 
in  the  much  greater  freedom  from  infestation  or  disease  of 
nursery  stock  offered  for  entry.  Few  instances  of  serious 
infestation  have  been  found  during  the  year,  which  is  a 
marked  contrast  with  conditions  prior  to  the  enactment  of 
this  legislation. 

Under  the  provisions  of  the  act  permitting  foreign  quar- 
antines four  have  been  promulgated-^ against  the  white-pine 
blister  rust  of  Europe  and  Asia,  the  potato  wart  of  portions  of 
Canada  and  several  European  countries,  the  Mexican  fruit  fly 
of  Mexico,  and  the  pink  boll  worm  of  cotton  of  Egypt. 

Under  the  provisions  of  the  act  providing  for  domestic 
quarantines  four  have  been  promulgated — against  the  Medi- 
terranean fruit  fly  in  Hawaii,  the  gipsy  and  brown-tail  moths 
in  New  England,  the  date-palm  scale  insects  in  certain 
counties  of  California,  Arizona,  and  Texas,  and  the  pink  boll 
worm  of  cotton  in  Hawaii.  These  domestic  quarantines 
provide  for  the  movement  of  the  quarantined  articles  under 
a  system  of  inspection  and  certification,  necessitating  a  con- 
siderable force  of  inspectors,  particularly  in  the  case  of  the 
Mediterranean  fruit  fly  and  the  gipsy  moth  and  brown-tail 
moth  quarantines.  The  State  inspection  service  of  Cali- 
fornia and  the  inspection  service  in  New  England  under  the 

58  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

appropriation  for  moth  control  have  been  used  in  cooper- 
ation with  this  department  for  the  effective  enforcement  of 
these  two  quarantines. 


The  constructive  research  and  demonstration  work  bearing 
directly  upon  practical  agriculture  comprises  activities  that 
are  exceedingly  numerous  and  widely  varied  in  character. 
There  is  practically  no  regulatory  work  to  divert  attention 
from  the  problems  which  are  of  direct  and  immediate  im- 
portance to  the  farmer. 


Among  the  distinct  achievements  in  the  pathological  field 
is  the  staining  of  the  crown-gall  organism  in  the  tissues  of 
the  crown-gall  tumor,  which  is  the  conspicuous  symptom 
of  this  widespread  and  destructive  disease  which  attacks  a 
very  wide  range  of  crop  plants.  Important  and  significant 
results  have  also  been  obtained  with  regard  to  the  relation 
of  the  crown-gall  organism  to  animal  tumors,  which  it  is 
believed  will  be  helpful  to  investigators  of  cancer  in  man 
and  the  lower  animals. 

As  the  result  of  an  incidental  investigation  made  in  China 
by  one  of  our  agricultural  explorers  under  instructions  from 
the  forest  pathologist,  it  has  been  definitely  established  that 
the  destructive  chestnut-bark  disease  which  is  causing  so 
much  damage  to  the  chestnut  forests  in  the  eastern  United 
States  was  in  all  probability  brought  to  eastern  America 
from  the  Orient. 


The  prevalence  to  a  destructive  extent  of  several  new  dis- 
eases of  the  potato  has  greatly  disturbed  the  potato  industry 
in  some  of  the  most  important  potato-producing  districts 
of  the  Rocky  Mountain  region.  The  leaf-roll,  curly-dwarf, 
rosette,  and  mosaic  diseases,  which  were  until  recently  un- 
known in  this  country,  are  receiving  the  attention  of  the 
pathologists  in  charge  of  this  line  of  work. 


It  has  been  proved  that  the  artificial  ripening  of  dates  can 
be  effectively  and  cheaply  done  by  merely  subjecting  the 

Report  of  the  Secretary.  59 

full-grown,  though  immature,  fruit  to  a  warm  and  humid 
atmosphere.  This  discovery  of  a  simple,  effective,  and 
inexpensive  method  of  ripening  has  greatly  simplified  the 
profitable  production  of  some  of  the  choice  varieties,  such  as 
Deglet  Noor,  which  do  not  come  to  full  maturity  on  the  tree 
in  the  date  orchards  of  the  Southwest.  An  improved  method 
of  rooting  small  date  offshoots  has  been  sufficiently  devel- 
oped to  indicate  that  the  propagation  of  choice  varieties  of 
dates  can  be  much  accelerated,  with  the  result  that  in  future 
when  choice  varieties  are  introduced  or  originated  stock  of 
them  can  be  made  available  to  planters  in  much  less  time 
than  is  possible  with  the  Old  World  methods. 


The  increased  demand  from  the  public  for  sets  of  cotton 
grades  indicates  a  marked  increase  of  interest  in  cotton  grades 
standardization.  The  importance  to  all  legitimate  interests 
of  accomplishing  as  early  as  possible  the  universal  adoption 
and  use  of  uniform  standards  has  become  clearly  evident. 

As  a  result  of  the  studies  conducted  for  several  years  in 
connection  with  the  marketing,  handling,  transporting,  stor- 
ing, and  grading  of  grain,  tentative  grades  for  commercial 
corn  have  been  formulated.  Both  producers  and  dealers 
have,  recently  shown  much  interest  in  the  subject,  and  it  is 
believed  that  the  general  adoption  and  use  of  uniform  grades 
in  both  our  domestic  and  export  trade  would  constitute  a 
long  and  important  step  forward  in  American  agriculture. 


Agricultural  exploration  work  has  been  vigorously  prose- 
cuted during  the  year  in  Siberia  and  northern  China,  where 
search  is  being  made  for  trees  and  plants  capable  of  enduring 
low  temperatures  and  light  rainfall.  A  preliminary  explora- 
tion of  the  regions  in  western  South  America  has  been  made. 
This  has  resulted  in  the  securing  of  a  unique  collection  of  pota- 
toes, which  includes  some  varieties  likely  to  be  of  distinct 
value  in  potato  breeding. 


Important  results  have  been  obtained  in  the  study  of  the 
cost  of  producing  farm  products,  the  factors  which  affect  the 
profitableness  of  farm  enterprises,  and  the  best  way  of  organiz- 

60  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

ing  these  enterprises  so  as  to  obtain  the  greatest  net  income. 
These  studies  have  also  made  possible  the  devising  of  suitable 
methods  of  farm  cost  accounting  for  farmers'  use.  Survey 
records  on  over  2,000  farms  have  been  secured  which  give 
a  complete  analysis  of  the  farmer's  business  and  show  the 
relative  efficiency  of  labor  under  different  farm  conditions. 

The  systematic  study  of  the  organization  of  farms  and  of 
individual  farm  enterprises  has  brought  a  more  intimate 
knowledge  of  the  detailed  practices  and  the  limiting  factors 
governing  these  practices  in  the  farm  business,  and  has  made 
it  possible  to  meet  with  greater  efficiency  the  increasing 
demand  for  plans  and  specifications  for  the  organization  and 
administration  of  farms. 


The  effort  to  aid  the  farmer  through  the  demonstration 
method  to  improve  his  practice  by  adopting  better  methods 
has  received  increased  attention. 

Some  of  the  most  effective  and  most  conspicuous  results 
are  found  in  the  boys'  demonstration  work  in  the  South, 
where  480  members  of  the  boys'  corn  clubs  in  the  various 
Southern  States  produced  yields  of  over  100  bushels  of  corn 
to  the  acre.  The  work  of  the  canning  and  poultry  clubs, 
through  which  the  girls  of  the  farm  are  encouraged  to  pre- 
serve in  a  form  suitable  for  home  use  or  sale  such  products  as 
tomatoes  and  other  vegetables  and  fruits  that  can  be  profit- 
ably produced  for  local  consumption  on  many  farms  has 
yielded  very  satisfactory  results. 

In  the  Northern  States  a  good  beginning  has  been  made  in 
farm  demonstration  work  during  the  year.  This  work  is 
prosecuted  for  the  most  part  in  cooperation  with  the  agricul- 
tural colleges  through  county  agents,  who  devote  their  entire 
time  to  the  study  of  local  agricultural  conditions  and  needs 
and  act  as  counselors  and  advisers  to  farmers,  encouraging 
the  adoption  of  improved  methods  and  where  advisable  the 
introduction  of  new  crops.  While  the  organization  and  estab- 
lishment of  this  work  in  the  North  and  West  is  too  recent  to 
indicate  in  any  very  definite  way  what  may  be  expected  to 
result  from  it,  a  summary  of  the  work  of  the  agents  in  the 
30  counties  longest  established  discloses  that  more  than  6,500 
farms  have  been  visited  and  more  than  1,800  farmers'  meet- 

Report  of  the  Secretary.  61 

ings  addressed,  with  an  attendance  exceeding  130,000. 
Cooperative  work  has  been  carried  on  directly  with  nearly 
2,400  farmers,  many  of  whom  are  being  encouraged  to  select 
and  test  carefully  their  seed  corn.  More  than  235,000  acres 
of  corn  have  been  planted  with  tested  seed.  Several  hun- 
dred farmers  are  following  instructions  in  the  growing  of 
alfalfa,  clover,  and  potatoes,  and  much  orchard  pruning  and 
spraying  have  been  done  as  a  result  of  the  advice  and  instruc- 
tion of  the  agents.  These  agents  have  made  plans  for  the 
operation  of  nearly  200  farms,  and  have  organized  65  farmers' 
clubs,  with  a  membership  of  nearly  1,500  farmers. 

In  the  boys'  and  girls'  club  work  in  the  North  and  West 
six  State  cooperative  agents  have  been  employed,  who  have 
had  the  assistance  of  five  collaborators  in  the  conduct  of  club 
work.  The  present  enrollment  in  this  work  amounts  to  about 
60,000  boys  and  girls,  who  are  systematically  organized  into 
boys'  corn  clubs,  girls'  canning  clubs,  potato  clubs,  sugar- 
beet  clubs,  vegetable-garden  clubs,  etc.  The  average  yield  per 
acre  of  all  the  corn-club  members  reporting  this  year  was 
74.5  bushels,  with  a  net  profit  of  $25.55  per  acre ;  426  made 
100  bushels  or  more,  and  1,078  made  over  60  bushels  per  acre. 


The  distribution  of  drought-resistant  field  seeds  in  the 
Great  Plains  area  and  other  dry-land  sections  of  the  country 
has  apparently  been  productive  of  excellent  results.  This 
distribution,  which  consisted  of  improved  varieties  and 
strains  of  field  crops  adapted  to  the  regions  of  light  rainfall, 
was  made  in  such  a  way  as  to  provide  the  farmer  with  seeds 
sufficient  for  an  area — usually  an  acre — adequate  to  make 
a  practical  test  of  the  adaptability  of  the  crop  to  his  condi- 
tions. Should  it  prove  superior  to  the  one  he  is  already 
growing,  his  initial  harvest  in  most  cases  will  provide  him 
a  sufficient  supply  of  seed  for  a  considerable  acreage  the 
next  year.  The  beneficial  results  from  this  distribution  of 
such  field  seeds  as  alfalfa,  feterita,  kafir,  milo,  millet,  Sudan 
grass,  and  other  forage  crops,  and  certain  cereals  suggest 
the  advisability  of  radically  changing  the  seed  distribution 
so  as  to  accomplish  the  purpose  for  which  it  was  originally 
established,  namely,  the  introduction  into  practical  farming 
of  new  and  valuable  crops  needed  in  the  improvement  and 
development  of  agriculture. 

62  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 


The  department  is  working  in  various  ways  to  foster  and 
promote  stock  raising  and  to  encourage  the  production  of  a 
sufficient  and  wholesome  supply  of  animal  food  for  the  people. 

In  the  control  and  eradication  of  animal  diseases  the 
department  is  working  in  cooperation  with  State  and  local 
authorities.  After  15  years  of  effort  sheep  scab,  which  was 
formerly  prevalent  throughout  the  West,  has  been  so  nearly 
eradicated  that  only  a  few  comparatively  small  areas  remain 
in  quarantine.  The  stamping  out  of  cattle  mange  has 
likewise  been  nearly  completed. 


The  greatest  undertaking  of  this  character  has  been  the 
extermination  in  the  South  of  the  ticks  which  spread  the 
disease  of  cattle  known  as  Texas  fever.  Until  recent  years 
the  southern  part  of  the  United  States  has  been  under  the 
blight  of  these  ticks,  the  infected  area  extending  from 
Virginia  to  Texas  and  including  southern  California.  After 
seven  years  of  effort  more  than  one-fourth  of  the  territory 
originally  infected  has  been  freed  from  ticks  and  released 
from  quarantine,  and  the  work  is  being  pushed  vigorously 
and  with  good  progress  in  much  of  the  remaining  area.  The 
territory  released  now  amounts  to  196,395  square  miles, 
being  greater  than  the  combined  areas  of  South  Carolina, 
Georgia,  Alabama,  and  Mississippi.  At  first  this  work 
was  done  against  some  opposition  because  of  the  lack  of 
knowledge  of  its  benefits,  but  the  purposes  and  advantages 
are  now  so  well  understood  that  it  is  meeting  with  the  hearty 
cooperation  of  the  people  of  the  affected  region.  The  most 
effective  means  of  destroying  the  ticks  is  by  dipping  the 
cattle  in  an  arsenical  solution.  The  success  of  this  work  is 
now  only  a  matter  of  time  and  money,  and  with  adequate 
appropriations  the  extermination  of  the  ticks  can  be  com- 
pleted before  many  more  years  have  passed.  When  this 
is  accomplished  a  large  area  which  has  heretofore  produced 
only  a  small  proportion  of  what  it  is  capable  of  raising  under 
favorable  conditions  will  become  available  for  beef  growing. 


In  anticipation  of  the  increased  entry  of  foreign  meat, 
the  department  dispatched  two  of  its  specialists,   one   to 

Report  of  the  Secretary.  63 

South  America  and  the  other  to  Australia  (the  principal 
sources  of  probable  imports),  to  ascertain  whether  the 
Governments  there  maintain  adequate  supervision  of  their 
meat  industries.  The  purpose  was  to  safeguard  our  people 
from  foreign  meat  that  might  be  a  carrier  of  disease  or  that 
might  have  been  slaughtered  under  conditions  that  would 
not  be  permitted  in  the  United  States.  The  only  countries 
of  South  America  that  are  in  a  position  at  the  present  time 
to  ship  meats  to  the  United  States  are  Argentina  and 
Uruguay.  Both  of  these  countries  are  conducting  a  Federal 
inspection  by  veterinarians  of  all  animals  slaughtered  for 
meat  which  is  intended  for  export.  The  inspection  is  quite 
competent.  There  are  some  minor  differences  between  the 
systems  of  inspection  there  and  in  the  United  States,  but 
on  the  whole  the  inspection  is  planned  largely  after  that- 
conducted  here,  and  these  minor  differences  will  be  overcome. 
A  report  on  Australia  has  not  yet  been  received.  Rigid 
regulations  governing  the  admission  of  foreign  meat  and  meat 
products  have  been  established  and  are  being  effectively 


The  department  is  also  working  for  the  increase  and  im- 
provement of  the  supply  of  milk  and  other  dairy  products, 
both  by  means  of  research  and  by  the  dissemination  of 

Within  the  past  year  noteworthy  results  have  been 
obtained  in  the  research  laboratories  with  regard  to  certain 
problems  connected  with  the  pasteurization  of  milk,  on  the 
cause  of  deterioration  of  storage  butter,  on  the  causes  of 
flavor  in  cheese,  and  with  regard  to  other  facts  relating 
to  the  bacteriology  and  chemistry  of  milk,  butter,  and  cheese. 


The  efforts  of  the  department  in  the  matter  of  insect 
control  have  been  marked  by  the  discovery  of  new  methods 
in  the  handling  of  the  gipsy-moth  problem  in  the  forests  of 
New  England  and  by  a  very  satisfactory  increase  and  spread 
of  the  introduced  foreign  parasites  of  the  gipsy  moth  and 
brown-tail  moth.  Further  field  experiments  of  a  thoroughly 
practical  nature  in  the  control  of  the  alf  alf  a  weevil,  an  insect 
which  has   threatened  enormous  losses  in  the  West,  have 

64  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

shown  such  good  results  that  alfalfa  growers  in  the  infested 
territory  have  secured  a  fairly  good  crop  of  hay  throughout 
the  season,  while  some  of  the  best  alfalfa  growers  in  that  part 
of  the  country  now  insist  that  they  can  secure  a  larger  annual 
yield  than  they  were  able  to  do  before  the  pest  appeared. 
Demonstrations  of  the  possibility  of  control  of  the  destructh^e 
bark  beetles  of  the  western  forests  have  shown  that  threatened 
outbreaks  can  be  suppressed  in  an  almost  perfect  manner 
and  at  extremely  little  cost.  The  threatened  introduction 
of  the  Mediterranean  fruit  fly  from  Hawaii  into  the  Western 
States  has  received  careful  attention,  and  at  the  present 
time  measures  are  in  force  which  will  probably  effectually 
protect  the  fruit  industry  of  the  Pacific  States  from  this  pest. 


The  States  have  in  recent  years  greatly  increased  the 
appropriations  to  these  stations  to  supplement  the  Federal 
funds.  The  total  income  of  the  stations  in  1912  was 
$4,068,240,  of  which  $1,440,000  was  received  from  the 
National  Government.  In  the  same  year  $1,000,000  was 
expended  for  buildings  for  the  stations  and  about  $500,000 
for  permanent  equipment. 


Gratifying  success  has  been  attained  in  the  growing  of 
cereals  and  vegetables  in  various  parts  of  Alaska,  and  the 
evidence  accumulates  that  there  may  be  considerable  agri- 
cultural development  in  that  Territory  whenever  better  trans- 
portation facilities  and  the  broader  utilization  of  its  other 
natural  resources  bring  in  sufficient  population  to  give  a  reli- 
able market  for  the  products  of  the  soil. 

In  Hawaii  a  soil  survey  is  nearing  completion  and  local 
agricultural  industries  have  been  encouraged  through  the 
results  of  scientific  investigations,  demonstration  farms, 
and  associations  for  cooperative  marketing. 

The  Porto  Rico  station  is  giving  special  attention  to  the 
utilization  of  lands  which  are  unprofitable  under  the  present 
systems  of  cultivation.  Efforts  to  aid  in  the  development  of 
the  citrus  industry  are  being  continued.  In  10  years  the  an- 
nual exports  of  citrus  fruits  have  increased  in  value  from 
$230,000  to  more  than  $1,100,000.     Coffee  is  receiving  much 

Report  of  the  Secretary.  65 

attention,  and  it  has  been  shown  that  by  better  methods  of 
cultivation  and  fertilizing  the  crops  can  be  more  than  doubled. 
In  Guam  there  is  increased  interest  in  agriculture  on  the 
part  of  the  natives  as  the  result  of  the  station's  work.  Efforts 
are  being  made  to  improve  the  live  stock  of  the  island  by  the 
introduction  of  pure-bred  stock.  A  large  number  of  tropical 
and  subtropical  fruits,  vegetables  and  forage  plants  are 
being  tested. 


The  studies  of  irrigation  methods  and  appliances  now 
carried  on  in  all  the  irrigated  regions  and  in  a  number  of  the 
humid  States  are  bringing  information  which  will  enable 
the  farmers  to  reduce  greatly  the  waste  of  water  and  thus 
extend  the  benefits  of  irrigation  to  a  much  larger  area.  The 
securing  of  competent  settlers  on  the  great  areas  of  land  in 
the  West  now  coming  under  the  ditch  is  still  the  most  urgent 
problem  in  that  region.  The  department  is  therefore  doing 
all  it  can  to  bring  to  the  actual  or  intending  settlers  who  are 
unacquainted  with  irrigation  practices  such  information  as 
will  enable  them  to  undertake  this  work  with  success. 

Examinations  and  surveys  of  about  a  million  acres  of  land 
needing  drainage  have  been  included  in  the  work  of  the  de- 
partment during  the  past  year.  In  this  way  interest  in  drain- 
age reclamation  is  being  stimulated  over  wide  areas. 


The  rapid  development  of  agricultural  education  in  the 
United  States,  which  has  been  so  marked  a  feature  of  recent 
educational  progress,  is  continuing.  This  has  been  especially 
apparent  during  the  past  year  in  the  better  support  given 
to  the  agricultural  colleges,  in  the  establishment  of  additional 
agricultural  courses  in  universities  and  colleges  of  private 
foundation,  in  the  increasing  number  of  States  giving  finan- 
cial aid  to  secondary  instruction  in  agriculture,  in  the  atten- 
tion given  to  the  training  of  teachers  of  agriculture  for  sec- 
ondary and  elementary  schools,  in  the  larger  attendance  of 
students  at  all  sorts  of  colleges  and  schools  in  which  agri- 
culture is  taught,  and  in  the  great  popularity  of  certain  forms 
of  elementary  instruction  in  agriculture,  such  as  children's 

27306°— YBK  1913 5 

66  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

gardens  in  cities,  boys'  corn  clubs,  girls'  garden  and  canning 
clubs,  and  other  juvenile  agricultural-club  work. 

The  department  has  continued  to  maintain  a  center  of 
information  on  the  various  phases  of  this  broad  educational 


This  statement  as  to  crop  yields  is  in  a  large  measure  an 
estimate.  This  fact  should  be  constantly  kept  in  mind 
in  connection  with  the  summary  here  submitted. 


From  the  best  information  at  hand  it  appears  that  the 
production  of  crops  in  the  United  States  in  1913  was  mate- 
rially below  the  average,  the  yield  per  acre  of  all  crops  com- 
bined being  smaller  than  in  any  year  of  the  past  decade, 
with  the  exception  of  1911.  This  shortage  was  caused  by  a 
severe  drought,  accompanied  by  excessive  heat  during  the 
summer  months,  in  an  important  portion  of  the  agricultural 
district  of  the  United  States,  and  particularly  in  Kansas, 
Oklahoma,  Missouri,  and  adjacent  States. 

Inasmuch  as  crop  production  in  1912  was  unusually  large, 
a  greater  proportion  than  usual  has  been  carried  into  the  pres- 
ent crop  year,  which  should  mitigate  somewhat  the  effects 
of  the  shortage  of  this  year's  crops. 

The  corn  crop,  the  most  valuable  farm  product  of  this 
country  according  to  the  estimates,  fell  below  2,500,000,000 
bushels,  which  is  smaller  than  any  crop  since  1903  and  about 
660,000,000  bushels  smaller  than  the  record  crop  of  1912. 
The  estimated  yield  per  acre  is  23  bushels,  compared  with  a 
yield  of  29  bushels  in  1912  and  an  average  yield  of  about  27 
bushels.  In  only  9  of  the  past  47  years  has  the  yield  per  acre 
been  less  than  23  bushels. 

Wheat  production,  with  an  estimated  total  of  753,000,000 
bushels,  notwithstanding  the  general  crop  shortage,  is  the 
largest  ever  recorded  in  this  country.  The  crop  was  prac- 
tically matured  before  the  drought  became  effective.  The 
largest  previous  estimate  was  for  1901  (like  this  year,  a 
short-crop  year),  with  748,000,000  bushels.  The  production 
in  1912  was  estimated  at  730,000,000  bushels.  In  yield  per 
acre,  this  year's  estimate  of  15.2  bushels  has  been  exceeded 

Report  of  the  Secretary.  67 

five  times  in  the  past  47  years.     The  estimated  average  yield 
for  the  past  10  years  was  14.2  bushels. 

The  oat  crop,  estimated  at  1,122,000,000  bushels,  although 
nearly  300,000,000  bushels  smaller  than  last  year's  record 
crop,  is  the  third  largest  in  our  history,  the  crop  of  1910 
holding  second  place.  There  has  been  a  steady  expansion  of 
area  in  this  crop.  The  yield  per  acre,  however,  was  slightly 
below  the  10-year  average. 

The  hay  crop,  estimated  at  63,460,000  tons  of  cultivated 
hay,  is  nearly  13  per  cent  smaller  than  the  large  crop  of  1912. 
In  yield  per  acre  the  estimate  is  1.31  tons,  compared  with  a 
10-year  average  of  1.43  tons.  The  lowest  yield  per  acre  in 
the  past  decade  was  1:10  tons  in  1911,  and  the  highest  1.54 
tons  in  1903  and  1905.  Rather  liberal  rains  in  the  late  sum- 
mer and  fall  have  produced  good  pastures. 

The  production  of  cotton  has  not  yet  been  estimated. 
Present  indications  are  that  the  yield  per  acre  will  be  slightly 
below  the  average;  but,  as  the  acreage  is  large,  the  total  pro- 
duction, which  will  probably  exceed  13,000,000  bales, will  rank 
perhaps  fourth  or  third  in  size. 

The  acreage  devoted  to  the  five  crops  mentioned — corn, 
wheat,  oats,  hay,  and  cotton — comprises  about  90  per  cezit 
of  the  area  in  all  crops,  and  therefore  has  a  predominating 
effect  upon  the  general  average  condition  of  all  crops. 
Nearly  all  of  the  minor  crops  were  materially  smaller  this 
year  than  in  1912,  and  the  per  acre  yields  below  their  average. 
The  potato  crop  is  estimated  at  328,000,000  bushels,  as 
compared  with  420,000,000;  tobacco,  903,000,000  pounds, 
compared  with  963,000,000;  barley,  173,000,000  bushels, 
compared  with  224,000,000;  rye,  35,000,000  bushels,  com- 
pared with  36,000,000;  flaxseed,  19,000,000  bushels,  com- 
pared with  28,000,000;  buckwheat,  14,000,000  bushels,  com- 
pared with  19,000,000;  sweet  potatoes,  56,000,000  bushels, 
compared  with  55,000,000 — in  each  case  comparison  being 
with  1912. 

The  yields  per  acre  of  all  crops  combined  compared  with 
their  10-year  average  yields  in  those  States  which  fared  most 
favorably  in  crop  production  this  year  were,  if  100  is  taken 
to  represent  the  average:  Arizona,  116;  Minnesota,  115; 
Florida,  111;  Wisconsin,  110;  Virginia,  107;  South  Carolina, 

68  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

106;  Nevada,  105;  Oregon,  105;  Georgia,  104;  and  North 
Carolina,  104. 

Similarly,  the  yields  per  acre  of  all  crops  combined  com- 
pared with  their  10-je&r  average  yields  in  those  States  which 
suffered  most  severely  in  shortage  were,  on  the  same  basis: 
Kansas,  61;  Oklahoma,  62;  Missouri,  71;  Nebraska,  78; 
Illinois,  80;  South  Dakota,  82;  Kentucky,  83;  New  Mexico, 
84;  Tennessee,  88;  and  California,  88.  The  shortage  in  Cali- 
fornia is  due  largely  to  a  freeze  of  exceptional  severity  to 
citrus  crops  and  to  drought  in  the  spring  of  1913. 

To  the  producers  the  lessened  crop  production  this  year  is 
largely  compensated  by  the  increased  prices  received  for 
their  produce,  for,  although  the  total  crop  production  is 
approximately  12  per  cent  smaller  than  last  year's  produc- 
tion, the  average  level  of  prices  of  crops  on  November  1  is 
about  13  per  cent  higher  than  last  year. 


Distinctive  features  of  "world"  crops  in  1913  as  com- 
pared with  1912  are  increased  areas  sown  to  wheat,  oats, 
barley,  rye,  and  corn.  The  wheat  acreage  has  probably 
yielded  a  record  outturn;  barley,  oats,  and  rye  are  bountiful 
crops,  but  corn  will  probably  give  the  poorest  result  in  20 
years.  Comprehensive  figures  for  all  countries  are  not 
available,  but  the  12  countries  which  ordinarily  produce  over 
80  per  cent  of  the  world's  wheat  crop  have  officially  returned 
their  aggregate  acreages  in  1913  compared  with  1912  as 
follows:  Wheat,  240,622,000  against  236,685,000  acres;  oats, 
123,235,000  against  119,027,000  acres;  barley,  50,830,000 
against  48,219,000  acres;  and  rye,  97,516,000  against 
95,293,000  acres.  The  increase  in  the  wheat  area  was  almost 
exclusively  in  the  United  States  «.nd  the  Russian  Empire; 
cultivation  retrograded  notably  only  in  Hungary,  Roumania, 
and  British  India,  due  chiefly  to  meteorological  causes. 

The  wheat  yields  of  the  12  countries  in  1913  aggregated 
3,398,638,000  bushels,  compared  with  3,259,600,000  bushels 
in  1912.  The  estimated  increase  of  over  150,000,000  bushels 
in  the  yield  of  these  countries  this  season,  if  finally  realized, 
indicates  that  the  1913  world  crop  will  surpass  all  previous 
records,  the  total  yield  of  1912  (3,764,000,000  bushels)  having 
been  the  maximum  up  to  that  date. 

Report  of  the  Secretary.  69 

The  1913  world  oat  crop,  though  not  a  record,  will  rank 
among  the  largest  ever  grown.  The  yield  in  1912  totaled 
4,582,000,000  bushels,  of  which  the  12  countries  produced 
3,750,000,000  bushels.  Preliminary  official  estimates  make 
the  outturn  of  the  12  countries  for  the  present  season 
3,629,000,000  bushels,  the  shortage  being  entirely  in  the 
United  States. 

A  noteworthy  feature  of  the  rye  crop  of  the  countries  in 
question  is  the  deficiency  in  1913  of  the  principal  rye-produc- 
ing country,  Russia,  which  reports  a  crop  of  only  895,000,000 
bushels,  against  1,044,000,000  bushels  in  1912.  In  the  Ger- 
man Empire,  the  other  principal  rye-producing  country,  the 
returns  indicate  a  yield  in  Prussia  alone  of  375,512,000 
bushels,  or  a  44,000,000-bushel  increase  over  the  crop  of  the 
preceding  season.  Increased  outturns  in  other  countries  are 
likely  to  counteract  the  shortage  in  Russia. 

Preliminary  estimates  of  the  1913  output  of  barley  in  such 
of  the  twelve  countries  as  report  upon  this  crop  aggregate 
1,009,821,000,  against  1,031,897,000  last  year.  There  is  a 
deficiency,  compared  with  the  previous  year,  of  50,000,000 
bushels  in  the  United  States  and  a  slight  falling  off  in  Prussia, 
but  an  increase  in  the  yields  of  Russia,  Hungary,  Spain,  and 

The  tremendous  shortage  in  the  1913  world  corn  crop, 
consequent  upon  a  crop  failure  in  parts  of  the  United  States, 
is  coincident  with  deficient  yields  in  Russia.  In  other  coun- 
tries of  southern  Europe  the  prospect  is  for  a  bounteous 


When  the  Department  of  Agriculture  was  first  organized, 
and  for  many  years  thereafter,  its  work  was  confined  to  mat- 
ters directly  affecting  agriculture.  Congress  has,  however, 
more  recently  enacted  legislation  charging  the  department 
with  the  enforcement  of  numerous  regulatory  laws,  including 
those  relating  to  meat  inspection,  animal  and  plant  quaran- 
tine, food  and  drugs,  game  and  migratory  birds,  seed  adul- 
teration, insecticides,  fungicides,  etc.,  many  of  which  only 
indirectly  affect  agriculture.  Its  activities,  therefore,  now 
concern,  directly  or  indirectly,  all  the  people. 

70   •  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

To  carry  on  the  work  of  the  department  during  the  last 
fiscal  year,  Congress  appropriated  $16,651,496  for  ordinary 
expenses,  in  addition  to  which  permanent  annual  appropriar- 
tions,  special  appropriations,  and  balances  from  previous 
years  amounting  to  $8,303,412.68  were  available,  making  a 
total  of  $24,954,908.68.  The  total  of  funds  which  has  been 
or  will  be  returned  to  the  Treasury,  together  with  miscella- 
neous receipts,  aggregate  $3,132,303.82.  Of  this  amount 
there  was  received  from  the  sale  of  timber,  grazing  permits, 
condemned  property,  etc.,  $2,449,287.66,  which  has  been 
deposited  in  the  Treasury.  About  three-fifths  of  the  appro- 
priation, or  about  $15,000,000,  was  expended  for  regulatory 
work,  and  the  remainder,  or  about  $9,000,000,  for  scientific 
research,  experiments,  and  demonstrations  directly  affecting 
the  farmer. 

An  important  change  in  the  system  of  handling  the  finan- 
cial affairs  of  the  department  was  effected  toward  the  close 
of  the  year,  which  is  very  satisfactory  and  results  in  a  saving 
of  time  and  money. 

Several  changes  in  the  organization  of  the  department  have 
been  effected  with  the  object  of  developing  more  complete 
coordination  of  the  work  of  the  several  bureaus  and  between 
the  department  and  other  Federal  departments  and  State 
and  other  agencies  interested  in  agricultural  development. 

The  Weather  Bureau  stations  and  substations  will  undergo 
gradual  reorganization  and  elimination;  this  bureau  will 
cooperate  with  the  Hydrographic  Office  in  the  publication  of 
various  meteorological  charts;  the  research  work  at  Mount 
Weather  will  be  discontinued  and  only  climatological  records 
made  there;  the  bureau  will  give  more  attention  to  special 
crop  warnings  arid  the  forecast  service  and  will  include  in  its 
scientific  work  studies  of  storms,  hurricanes,  frosts,  and  cold 

The  soil-survey  work  has  been  made  more  valuable  by  the 
establishment  of  cooperation  with  the  States,  including  their 
experiment  stations,  colleges,  and  agricultural  bureaus.  The 
department  will  give  precedence  in  conducting  soil  surveys 
to  those  States  which  cooperate  with  it.  During  the  year 
19  States  have  appropriated  money  for  soil  surveys  under 
the  new  plan  of  cooperation. 

Report  of  the  Secretary.  71 

The  decision  of  the  Attorney  General  and  subsequent 
action  of  the  Secretaries  of  the  Treasury  and  Commerce  in 
rescinding  Regulation  39  placed  meats  and  meat  products 
under  the  pure-food  law.  This  necessitated  new  machinery 
and  some  reorganization  in  the  Bureau  of  Chemistry  and 
made  necessary  close  cooperation  with  the  Bureau  of  Animal 
Industry.  The  general  effect  was  to  give  the  Federal  Gov- 
ernment control  over  meat  and  meat  products  in  interstate 
commerce  and  in  all  stages  of  transit  instead  of  restricting  its 
jurisdiction  to  the  Federal-inspected  meat  establishments. 
Other  changes  in  the  bureau  are  designed  to  coordinate  and 
improve  its  work,  including  the  establishment  of  food  and 
drug  standards. 

The  new  fields  of  work  upon  which  the  department  has 
entered  include  the  study  of  marketing  farm  products,  rural 
organization,  rural  credits,  rural  hygiene  and  sanitation,  the 
condition  of  woman  on  the  farm,  the  popularization  of  the 
department's  work,  and  the  development  of  closer  relations 
with  the  State  agricultural  institutions  along  the  lines  of  the 
plan  submitted  to  the  executive  committee  of  the  Association 
of  Agricultural  Colleges  and  Experiment  Stations  at  its  recent 
meeting  in  this  city. 

The  national  forests  are  rapidly  being  made  self-supporting, 
many  of  them  already  returning  more  than  the  operating 
cost.  There  are  great  power  possibilities  within  the  national 
forests,  76  projects  being  already  developed  and  30  under 
construction.  As  the  market  for  power  increases,  there  will 
be  a  much  greater  demand,  and  the  Government  should 
make  power  sites  available  under  such  terms  as  will  encourage 
the  investment  of  capital  and  fully  insure  the  interests  of 
the  public.  The  recreational  use  of  the  forests  should  be 

The  trend  of  the  movement  for  better  roads  is  in  the  direc- 
tion of  State  and  Federal  participation,  and  to-day  34  States 
have  some  form  of  highway  commission. 

The  department  is  cooperating  with  the  Postmaster  Gen- 
eral in  the  improvement  of  selected  roads,  for  which  Congress 
appropriated  $500,000  conditioned  upon  the  raising  of  double 
that  amount  by  the  States  in  which  such  roads  are  located. 
Construction  is  now  under  wav  on  some  of  these  roads. 

72  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

Fines  aggregating  $23,463.50  were  imposed  in  596  cases 
for  violations  of  the  food  and  drugs  act;  there  were  436 
cases  of  trespass  on  the  national  forests,  the  fines  for  which 
amounted  to  $27,764.91;  penalties  amounting  to  $61,695  were 
recovered  for  violations  of  the  28-hour  law;  violations  of 
the  live-stock  quarantine  acts  resulted  in  fines  aggregating 
$10,275;  violations  of  the  meat-inspection  law  resulted  in 
the  assessment  of  fines  aggregating  $3,315;  convictions  in 

73  cases  for  violations  of  the  game  laws  resulted  in  fines 
amounting  to  $3,557;  and  fines  for  violations  of  the  insecti- 
cide and  fungicide  act  amounted  to  $1,100. 

An  efficiency  system  has  been  established  in  the  depart- 
ment affecting  all  employees,  under  which  advancement 
will  depend  wholly  upon  merit. 

A  budget  or  project  system  for  handling  all  work  of  the 
department  has  been  inaugurated,  which  will  make  possible 
the  determination  of  the  relative  cost  of  different  kinds  of 
work  and  eliminate  duplication. 

The  work  of  the  extermination  of  the  tick,  which  is  the 
cause  of  Texas  fever  in  cattle,  has  been  pushed  vigorously 
in  the  South,  the  territory  now  released  aggregating  1 96,395 
square  miles.  The  most  effective  means  of  destroying  ticks 
is  by  dipping  cattle  in  an  arsenical  solution. 

In  anticipation  of  the  increased  entry  of  foreign  meat,  two 
department  specialists  were  dispatched — one  to  Australia 
and  one  to  Argentina — to  ascertain  whether  these  Govern- 
ments maintained  adequate  supervision  of  their  meat  indus- 
tries. At  the  present  time  the  only  countries  in  South 
America  in  a  position  to  ship  meats  to  the  United  States 
are  Argentina  and  Uruguay.  Both  of  these  countries  are 
conducting  federal  inspection  by  veterinarians  of  all  animals 
slaughtered  for  export,  and  the  inspection  was  found  quite 
competent.     A  report  has  not  yet  been  received  on  Australia. 

The  production  of  crops  in  the  United  States  in  1913  was 
materially  below  the  average,  the  yield  per  acre  of  all  crops 
combined  being  smaller  than  in  any  year  of  the  last  decade 
except  1911.  The  corn  crop  was  a  little  below  2,500,000,000 
bushels,  the  average  yield  being  23  bushels  per  acre;  the 
wheat  crop,  estimated  at  753,000,000  bushels,  is  the  largest 
yield    recorded    for    this    country.     The    oat    crop    was 

Report  of  the  Secretary.  73 

1,122,000,000  bushels;  the  hay  crop,  63,460,000  tons;  and 
the  cotton  crop  probably  13,000,000  bales. 


That  authority  be  given  to  codify  existing  legislation 
affecting  the  department  in  order  to  more  clearly  define  its 
duties  and  functions,  and  to  prepare  and  submit  to  the  next 
Congress  a  plan  for  reorganization  with  a  view  to  broadening 
the  work,  unifying  its  efforts,  promoting  harmony  and  econ- 
omy, and  adjusting  its  relations  with  the  States. 

That  legislation  be  enacted  for  effectively  conveying  exist- 
ing agricultural  information  to  the  farmer.  The  methods 
recommended  are  embodied  in  a  bill  submitted  simulta- 
neously in  the  two  Houses  of  Congress  by  Hon.  Hoke  Smith 
and  Hon.  A.  F.  Lever. 

That  the  food  and  drugs  act  be  amended  to  permit  the 
establishment  of  legal  standards  for  judging  foods  and  for  a 
broader  definition  of  a  "  drug." 

That  if  Federal  aid  is  to  be  further  extended  in  the  con- 
struction and  maintenance  of  highways,  any  legislation  to 
that  end  should  incorporate  the  principle  of  cooperation 
with  the  States  on  the  condition  that  the  States  provide  an 
appropriation  at  least  double  that  provided  by  the  Federal 
Government;  that  no  Federal  funds  should  be  expended 
until  a  scheme  of  road  construction  and  maintenance  within 
a  State  had  been  developed  and  agreed  upon ;  and  that  any 
money  appropriated  by  the  Federal  Government  should  be 
apportioned  on  the  basis  of  a  number  of  factors. 

That  the  name  of  the  Bureau  of  Statistics  be  changed  to 
the  Bureau  of  Agricultural  Forecasts,  as  indicating  more 
clearly  the  nature  of  its  work. 

That  the  present  broad  authority  for  investigating  the 
marketing  and  distribution  of  farm  products  be  continued 
without  change  and  that  additional  funds  be  provided. 

That  provision  be  made  for  the  establishment  of  grading 
standards  for  various  farm  products  and  for  the  promulga- 
tion of  the  standards  already  established  by  the  department 
for  cotton  and  corn  grades. 

That  special  consideration  be  given  to  the  problem  of 
devising  better  rural  credit  facilities. 

74  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

That  the  law  be  changed  to  permit  the  granting  of  term 
licenses  on  the  national  forests  for  the  construction  of  hotels 
and  summer  cottages,  and  for  similar  purposes,  with  the  view 
of  promoting  the  recreational  use  of  the  forests. 

That  authority  be  given  the  department  to  cooperate  with 
cities  and  towns  in  the  safeguarding  of  the  public  health 
through  sanitary  regulations  of  the  use  of  national  forest 

That  authority  be  given  for  the  classification  and  addition 
to  the  national  forests  of  public  lands  valuable  only  for  forest 
purposes  which  are  now  exposed  to  fire  and  trespass  and 
which  often  endanger  the  forests  under  protection. 

That  the  law  governing  the  development  of  water  power 
within  the  national  forests  be  modified  to  permit  develop- 
ment under  terms  which  will  not  only  encourage  the  invest- 
ment of  capital,  but  will  fully  insure  the  interests  of  the  public. 

That  means  and  authority  be  granted  to  make  more  com- 
plete studies  of  domestic  conditions  on  the  farm,  including 
the  question  of  practical  sanitation  and  hygienic  protection 
for  the  farm  home  as  well  as  labor-saving  devices. 

That  certain  modifications  be  made  in  the  laws  relating  to 
the  publications  of  the  department  to  permit  the  more  effi- 
cient utlization  of  its  printing  fund. 

That 'increases  aggregating  $1,074,387  be  made  in  the 
appropriations  of  the  department  for  the  next  fiscal  year. 

That  the  salary  limit  of  scientific  workers  in  the  depart- 
ment be  raised. 

Respectfully  submitted. 

D.  F.  Houston,  ' 
Secretary  of  Agriculture. 
Washington,  D.  C,  December  1,  1913. 


By  F.  M.  Webster, 

In  Charge  of  Cereal  and  Forage  Insect  Investigations, 

Bureau  of  Entomology. 

THE  term  "farmer,"  as  used  in  this  article,  is  intended  to 
indicate  the  husbandman  who  grows  cereals  and  forage 
crops,  as  distinguished  from  his  colleagues,  the  horticulturist, 
the  truck  grower,  the  cotton  planter,  and  the  sugar  planter. 
The  grower  of  cereals  and  forage  crops  was  the  pioneer  of  the 
wooded  valleys  of  the  East  and  of  the  boundless  prairies  of 
the  West,  residing,  with  his  family,  in  isolated  localities,  cop- 
ing, unassisted,  with  the  agricultural  problems  of  his  day  and 
condition,  and  doing  battle,  single-handed,  against  the  ene- 
mies of  his  crops,  whether  floods,  droughts 
insects,  or  what  not.  fr\%$  t    P 

The  object  of  the  wi'iter  is  to  trace  the       y      yy  |_J  ^ 
application  of  entomology  to  agriculture,    VlQ_  ^^^  0l  Usei. 
pointing  out  some  of  the  many  obstacles      tesen  i;  2758—2714  b. 
that  have  confronted  the  farmer  in  the  task      c-  *v|°f  the  ,Kine's 

■  •  .  name,  Kheperkara. 

of  freeing  himself  from  popular  supersti- 
tions regarding  insects,   while   at   the  same   time  coming 
gradually  into  his  own  in  the  matter  of  profiting  from  the 
evolution  and  development  of  one  of  the  younger  sciences. 


The  conceptions,  or  rather  .misconceptions,  of  the  ancients 
with  regard  to  insects  were  enveloped  in  superstition  and 
religious  veneration.  Records  of  the  sacred  beetle  of  Egypt 
go  back  at  least  as  far  as  the  year  5000  B.  C.,  and  probably 
even  farther.  (Fig.  1.)  It  was  the  habit  of  this  insect  to 
lay  its  eggs  singly  in  excrement  and  to  roll  this  about  until  it 
assumed  the  shape  of  a  ball,  in  precisely  the  same  way  as 
our  own  well-known  tumble  bug  (fig.  2),  which  may  be  seen 
on  sunny  days  pushing  its  ball  and  burying  it  in  the  warm 
earth,  just  as  its  larger  Egyptian  relative  buried  hers  in  the 
banks  of  desert  sand.  In  the  course  of  time  the  egg  hatched 
and  the  beetle  emerged  alive  out  of  the  sand.     It  is  supposed 



Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

Fig.  2.— The  common  American  dung  beetle 
or  tumble  bus  tn  act  of  rolling  its  ball. 
'Life  size.    (Original.) 

that  the  Egyptians,  not  knowing  of  the  burial  of  the  egg, 
believed  that  the  beetle  had  the  power  of  reviving  itself  after 
death,  and  this  supposed  belief  has  frequently  been  offered 
in  explanation  of  the  sacred  character  which  was  attributed 
to  this  insect.  It  has  also  been  observed  that  immediately 
after  the  inundation  of  the  Nile  Valley  there  are  as  many 
beetles  as  there  were  before  the  inundation,  which  probably 
gave  rise  in  the  Egyptian  mind  to  the  idea  that  these  crea- 
tures had  a  perpetual  life. 
This  belief  in  the  spontane- 
ous development  of  animal, 
life  from  the  earth  or  from 
decaying  matter  prevailed  to 
a  greater  or  less  extent  even 
as  late  as  the  early  settle- 
ment of  the  Atlantic  coast 
region  of  the  United  States. 
So  tenaciously  do  the  leg- 
ends of  our  forefathers  cling  to  us  that  even  now,  in  the 
beginning  of  the  twentieth  century,  if  the  common  opinion 
were  expressed,  it  would  be  an  almost  unanimous  condem- 
nation of  all  insects  as  being  equally  horrid,  disgusting, 
and  detestable,  with  the  possible  exception  of  the  honey 
bee.  Many  individuals  have  as  little  true  knowledge  of  the 
origin  and  development  of  these  creatures  as  the  ancient 
Egyptians  had  of  the  life  history  of  their 
sacred  beetle.  Possibly  Queen  Tyi,  reigning 
about  the  year  1414  B.  C,  knew  as  little  of 
the  bee  whose  image  (fig.  3)  adorned  the  mar- 
riage scarab — or  what  might  in  this  day  be 
termed  the  "marriage  certificate" — of  herself 
and  her  husband,  Amenhotep  III.  An  even 
earlier  occurrence  of  this  figure  is  found  upon 
the  scarab  of  Thothmes  II,  covering  the  period  from  1516  to 
1505  B.  C. 

Many  insects  have  been  named  after  Greek  gods  and  god- 
desses. According  to  La  Hontan,1  one  of  the  Indian  tribes 
of  Illinois  had  a  native  moth  (fig.  4)  inscribed  upon  its  totem 

i  La  Hontan  is  not  credited  with  overmuch  truthfulness.  However,  the  Indians,  espe- 
cially the  Pueblo  and  other  Indians  of  New  Mexico  and  Arizona,  have  a  surprising  knowl- 
edge of  insects  and  their  importance. 

Fig.  3.— A  portion 
of  the  marriage 
scarab  of  Amen- 
hotep III  and 
Queen  Tyi;  1414 — 
1379  B.  C. 

Bringing  Applied,  Entomology  to  the  Farmer.  77 

pole — indicating  that  moth  to  be  the  far-away  progenitor  of 
the  tribe.  Figure  4  is  a  copy  of  an  illustration  in  Baron 
La  Hontan's  "New  Voiages  to  North  America,"  2d  edition, 
Vol.  II,  p.  87,  1735,  and  described  by  him  as  a  "butterfly 
argent  on  a  beech  leaf."  The  latest  link  in  this  legendary 
chain,  binding  the  mystic  ages  of  the  past  to  our  own  time, 
may  be  found  in  our  own  nurseries,  in  the  belief  of  the  children 
that  a  ladybird  alighting  of  its  own  will  upon  them  indicates 
the  immediate  acquisition  of  new  garments,  and  in  the  more 
gruesome  but  equally  well  known  "ticking  of  the-  death- 
watch,"  so  called. 

There  remains  in  these  ancient  records  enough  of  fact  to 
give  us  excellent  reason  for  believing  not  only  that  the  crops 
of  the  early  Egyptian  farmer  suffered  from 
insect  attack,  but  that  those  of  our  Aryan 
ancestors  probably  suffered  equally  as  they 
tended  their  flocks  and  cultivated  their 
fields  on  the  plains  of  central  Asia  four  or 
five  thousand  years  ago.  Despite  supersti- 
tion and  misconception,  the  actual  economic 
element  in  entomology  is  inevitably  as  old 
as  agriculture  itself. 


As  illustrating   the  transitional  stage  of     „ 

,  .     _  .       „  ,b         ,     1  ,      j.   ii        ■  FtQ-  *■— Facsimile   of 

this  branch  of  knowledge,  the  following  ex-  the  totem  of  the  im- 
cerpts  from  old  and  only  comparatively  nob  Indians.  After 
reliable  manuscripts  may  be  given:  In  the 
year  1638-39  John  Jossleyn,  "gentleman,"  visited  New  Eng- 
land, coming  again  in  1663  and  remaining  until  1671.  He 
reported  that  in  the  cornfields  of  the  natives  there  occurred 
a  "bugg  that  lieth  in  the  earth  and  eateth  the  seed,  that  is 
somewhat  like  a  maggot,  of  a  white  color,  with  a  red  head, 
about  the  bigness  of  one's  finger,  and  one  inch  or  an  inch  and 
a  half  long."  Very  evidently  this  was  what  we  now  know 
as  the  white  grub. 

Mr.  William  Wood,  who  visited  this  country  in  1629,  re- 
maining until  1633,  stated  that  the  Indians  exceeded  the 
English  husbandmen  in  keeping  their  fields  clean  of  weeds 
and  of  "undermining  worms."     This  will  give  something  of 

78  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

an  idea  of  insect  depredations  in  the  cornfields  of  the  abo- 
rigines, and  will  indicate  which  insects  were  probably  the 
first  to  attack  the  cornfields  of  the  earliest  farmers  of  the 
United  States. 

It  was  not  until  after  this  time  that  Dr.  Francesco  Redi, 
court  physician  to  Francis  the  Second,  published  the  results 
of  his  extensive  experiments  on  the  generation  of  insects. 
This  record  appeared  in  1668,  reached  a  fifth  edition  in  1688, 
and  conclusively  disproved  the  theory  of  the  generation  of 
insects  in  dead  matter.  Up  to  this  time,  as  stated  by  Redi, 
the  "generation  of  these  living  creatures  was  considered  by 
all  schools  to  have  been  by  chance;  that  is,  spontaneously, 
without  paternal  seed." 

It  is  not  to  be  supposed  that  the  grain  fields  of  the  early 
farmers  escaped  with  less  insect  injuries  than  the  cultivated 
fields  of  the  Indians,  though  during  the  first  hundred  years 
of  agriculture  in  America  we  have  only  fragmentary  records 
of  the  ravages  of  insects.  These  records  are  very  incom- 
plete and  are  such  as  have  of  necessity  been  gleaned  from  old 
manuscripts,  diaries,  and  similar  documents.  Not  only  are 
these  incomplete,  but  they  appear  to  have  related  only  to 
the  most  disastrous  outbreaks,  leaving  unnoticed  a  vast 
amount  of  injury  of  which  we  have,  therefore,  no  record 
whatever.  Some  of  these  fragments  of  entomological  his- 
tory are  as  follows:  In  1632  "the  worms  made  extensive 
ravages  on  the  grain;"  1646  and  1649  were  "caterpillar 
years;"  in  1666  "the  Indian  corn  was  eaten  by  worms." 
And  as  showing  that  other  destructive  insects  as  well  as 
these  were  probably  present,  it  is  to  be  noted  that  the  canker- 
worms  in  1658  to  1661  made  great  havoc  with  the  apples  in 
the  vicinity  of  Boston.  At  that  time  cutworms  and  army 
worms  were  frequently  termed  "canker-worms." 

By  this  time  ordinary  insect  outbreaks  appear  to  have 
become  so  common  as  to  be  thought  unworthy  of  record, 
and  we  have  nothing  more  until  the  year  1743,  when  it  is 
stated  that  "millions  of  devouring  worms  in  armies  threat- 
ened to  cut  off  every  green  thing.  Hay  very  scarce;  £7  to 
£8  a  load."  While  this  particular  record  applies  to  New 
England,  it  certainly  does  not  cover  the  entire  area  of  dev- 
astation, as  John  Bartram,  during  July  of  that  year,  made 
a  journey  from  Philadelphia  to  Oswego,  N.  Y.,  and  records 

Bringing  Applied  Entomology  to  the  Farmer.  79 

the  occurrence  of  worms,  which  he  says  have  done  much 
mischief  by  destroying  the  grass  and  even  corn  for  two  sum- 
mers. He  also  observes  that  the  worms  ate  off  the  blades 
not  only  of  corn  but  also  of  long  white  grass,  so  that  the 
stems  of  both  stood  naked  4  feet  high.  He  observes  that 
they  seem  to  be  periodical,  like  the  locust  and  caterpillar. 

During  the  year  1749  we  are  told  that  in  July  grasshop- 
pers appeared  in  myriads,  the  observer  stating:  "I  reckon 
my  poultry,  about  a  hundred,  eat  10,000  grasshoppers  every 
day.  The  inhabitants  of  Nahant,  Mass.,  formed  a  line  and 
with  bushes  drove  the  grasshoppers  into  the  sea  by  millions. " 
In  1762  a  terrible  drought  appears  to  have  occurred,  and, 
owing  to  a  very  late  spring,  corn  could  not  be  planted  at  the 
proper  season.  Statement  is  made  that  "  when  at  last  the 
corn  was  planted  millions  of  worms  appeared  to  eat  it  up" 

For  upward  of  a  hundred  years  our  records  are  very  in- 
complete, although  there  are  indefinite  references  in  exist- 
ence to  show  that  this  is  not  owing  to  a  lack  of  insect  depre- 
dations in  the  fields  of  the  farmer. 

In  1770  there  appears  to  have  been  a  widespread  outbreak 
of  our  common  army  worm,  which,  it  is  stated,  extended 
from  Langston,  N.  H,  to  Northfield,  Mass.  These  ate  wheat 
and  corn  and  disappeared  as  if  by  magic,  leaving  nothing 
but  the  bare  stalks  of  these  crops.  It  seems  that  the  farm- 
ers, in  order  to  protect  their  fields,  drew  ropes  over  them, 
brushing  the  worms  from  the  stalks,  which  expedient,  we  are 
told,  only  retarded  the  devastation,  the  crops  being  finally 
doomed  to  destruction.  Trenches  were  dug  in  the  fields  in 
advance  of  the  moving  armies  of  worms,  but  the  worms  soon 
filled  the  ditches,  and  the  millions  that  were  in  the  rear  went 
over  on  the  backs  of  their  fellows  in  the  trenches  and  took 
possession  of  the  interdicted  food.  Holes  were  sometimes 
made  in  the  bottoms  of  these  ditches,  one  every  2  or  3  feet, 
into  which  the  worms  fell  and  were  then  killed  by  the  farmers 
going  over  the  fields  and  plunging  bars  or  sticks  of  wood  into 
these  holes.  It  seems,  however,  that  only  a  few  farmers  were 
able  to  save  enough  corn  for  seed  the  following  year.  Just 
11  years  afterward,  in  1781,  the  same  pest  is  again  recorded. 
It  seems  also  to  have  reappeared  in  1790.  Trapping  by 
means  of  ditches  and  holes  is  used  in  present-day  methods  of 
control,  but  the  worms  are  killed  by  pouring  kerosene  into 
the  holes. 

80  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 


Beyond  the  crude  measures  already  indicated,  which,  as 
will  be  seen,  were  at  the  most  but  slightly  effective,  there  was 
nothing  that  the  farmers  were  able  to  do  to  save  their  crops. 
An  appeal  was  apparently  made  for  information  which  would 
aid  them  in  destroying  these  pests,  but  no  relief  appears  to 
have  been  received.  Indeed,  this  probably  was  the  beginning, 
at  least  in  this  country,  of  the  unjust  prejudice  which  has  since 
prevailed  against  scientific  agriculture,  otherwise  termed 
"book  farming."  The  Angoumois  grain  moth,  an  insect 
accidentally  introduced  into  the  United  States,  committed 
very  serious  ravages  upon  grain,  both  in  the  field  store, 
in  the  State  of  North  Carolina.  The  ravages  of  this  pest  reach 
as  far  back  at  least  as  the  year  1728.  In  1796  M.  Louis  A.  G. 
Bosc,  who  was  sent  out  to  this  country  by  the  French  Gov- 
ernment, and  resided  for  some  time  at  Wilmington,  N.  C, 
found  these  moths  so  abundant  there  as  to  extinguish  a  can- 
dle when  he  entered  his  granary  at  night.  Although  the  insect 
is  entirely  different  from  the  Hessian  fly — the  one  attacking 
the  seed  and  the  other  the  plant,  the  one  being  a  moth  or  miller 
and  the  other  a  fly — yet,  in  going  over  the  earlier  agricultural 
journals  of  the  country,  these  two  insects  are  so  confused  as 
in  many  case  to  render  it  impossible  to  decide  to  which  one 
the  discussions  relate.  If  such  misconceptions  were  to  be 
found  among  the  more  educated  classes,  such  as  might  be 
represented  by  Col.  Langdon  Carter,  of  Virginia,  who  wrote 
on  the  grain  moth  in  1768,  where  was  the  ordinary  farmer 
to  go  for  information  that  would  help  him  in  his  troubles  ? 
The  few  entomologists  of  that  time  were  almost  wholly  ab- 
sorbed in  obtaining  specimens  of  insects  and  in  describing 
them  in  scientific  journals.  These  entomologists,  almost 
without  exception,  knew  as  little  about  agriculture  as  the 
farmer  did  about  entomology;  consequently  there  was  diver- 
sity where  there  should  have  been  community  of  thought  and 
labor.  The  foregoing  will  serve  not  only  to  indicate  the 
primitive  state  of "  entomology  in  the  early  history  of  the 
country,  but  also  to  account  for  many  of  the  earlier  miscon- 
ceptions among  farmers  relative  to  the  occurrence  of  de- 
structive insects. 

Yearbook  U.  S.  D.;pt.  of  Agriculture,  1913. 

Plate  I. 

Field  Laboratories  and  Breeding  Cages. 

Pig.  l. — Interior  of  the  first  field-station  laboratory  to  be  established  for  the  exclusive  inves- 
tigation of  grain  and  forago  insects:  located  at  Tower  City,  N.  ]>ak.  Fig.  2. — Investi- 
gation of  Hessian  11  \-  in  grain  fields  at  Tower  City,  N.  Dak.,  field  station,  showing  the  Held 
breeding  cages  within  which  various  experiments  with  Hessian  fly  are  carried  out.  Fig. .';. — 
The  entomological  laboratory  at  Greenwood,  Miss.,  illustrating  tho  utilization  of  a  small 
dwelling  for  this  purpose,  on  the  outskirts  of  Ureenwood. 

Yearbook  U.  S.  Dept.  of  Agriculture,  1913. 

Plate  II. 

Field  Laboratories. 

Fig.  1.— The  lalwratorv  at  Tempe,  Ariz.  Fig.  2.— Laboratory  building  and  out-of-door  breed- 
ing cage,  built  especially  for  this  purpose,  located  at  Nashville,  Tenn.  1  ig.  3.— Laboratory 
at  Uagerstown,  Md.,  showing  the  utilization  of  half  of  a  double  bouse  for  this  purpose. 

Yearbook  U.  S.  Dept.  of  Agriculture,  1913. 

Plate  III. 

Field  Laboratories. 

Fig.  1.— Laboratory  on  Kensington  Avenue,  Salt  Lake  City,  Utah.  A  difTerent  form  of  build- 
ing but  also  easily  convertible  into  a  modern  cottage.  The  staff  of  this  field  station  is  show  n 
in  front  and  the  principal  investigation  at  this  point  is  with  the  alfalfa  weevil.  Fig.  2.— 
Laboratory  built  by  a  private  individual  at  Elk  I'oint,  S.  Dak.,  and  leased  to  the  Depart- 
ment of  Agriculture.  This  building  admits  of  being  easily  converted  into  a  small  cottar  e 
in  case  it  should  at  any  time  bo  no  longer  desired  for  laboratory  purposes.  Fig.  3. — Labora- 
tory at  Wellington,  Kans.,  a  private  cottage  leased  to  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 
Fig.  4.— Out-of-door  breeding  cage  in  connection  with  the  Wellington  station.  This  arrange- 
ment gives  to  the  interior  conditions  as  near  to  those  out  of  doors  as  it  is  possible  to  obtain. 

Yearbook  U,  S.  Dept.  of  Agriculture,  1913. 

Plate  IV. 

Fie.  1. 

Field  Laboratory  and  Breeding  Cages. 

Laboratory  at  Brownsville,  Tex.  This  consists  of  the  cavalry  barracks  of  the  ahan- 
med  Fort  Brown,  transformed  into  an  entomological  laboratory,  thus  combining  the 
pursuits  of  war  and  peace.  Fig.  2.— Showing  insectary  and  breeding  cages  connected  with 
the  laboratory  at  Brownsville,  Tex.  Fig.  3. — Illustrating  the  out-of-door  breeding  cage  at 
La  Fayette,  Ind.,  and  other  equipment  at  that  point  for  the  close  study  of  cereal  and  forage 
insects  under  as  nearly  natural  conditions  as  possible.  All  such  experiments  are  checked 
by  others  carried  out' in  the  field.  Fig.  4.— The  out-of-door  breeding  cage  at  Columbia, 
S .  C,  where  experiments  similar  to  those  in  progress  at  La  Fayette,  Ind.,  are  being  carried  out. 

Yearbook  U.  S.  Dept.  of  Agriculture,  1913. 

Plate  V. 

Camp  Laboratory  on  the  New  Mexico  Range. 

Fig.  1.— An  improvised  insectary  for  the  careful  study  of  the  range  caterpillar  and  the  intro- 
duction of  and  experimentation  with  its  parasites.  Fig.  2. — Camp  near  Koehler,  N.  Mex., 
established  in  the  midst  of  a  100,U0O-acre  cattle  range,  for  the  investigation  of  the  range 
caterpillar.  Fig.  3.— Hibernating  cages  used  in  connection  with  studies  of  the  range 

Yearbook  U.  S.  Dept.  of  Agriculture,  1913. 

Plate  VI. 


Collecting  and  Distributing  Parasites  of  Injurious  Insects. 

Fie  1  —  Illustrating  the  artificial  propagation  of  certain  parasitic  insects,  at  Glendalc,  Cal.. 
ff,'r  dis  ril.ulion  to  and  colonization  at  distant  points.  Fig  2.-1  cssmts  who  collected 
Ifalfa  stems  for  the  Bureau  of  Entomology  III  the  field,  of  Italy  FiK,3.-Selecting  out  the 
stems  containing  parasites  of  alfalfa  weevil  and  preparing  them  for  shipment  to  the  L  ite 
States.  Fig.  4.— Liberating  the  imported  parasites  of  alfalfa  weevil  in  the  alfalfa  fields  in 
U  tali. 

Bringing  Applied  Entomology  to  the  Farmer.  81 



The  first  efforts  looking  toward  the  protection  of  cultivated 
plants  from  insect  attack  consisted  largely,  if  not  indeed  en- 
tirely, in  the  treatment  of  garden  vegetables  with  soot,  ashes, 
lime,  and  later,  perhaps,  white  hellebore,  but  the  use  of  these 
evidently  did  not  extend  beyond  the  garden  and  afforded 
no  relief  whatever  to  the  grower  of  grains  and  forage  crops. 
The  spread  of  the  Colorado  potato  beetle  eastward  from  the 
West  probably  did  much  to  introduce  Paris  green  as  an 
insecticide,  but  its  use  was  confined  largely  to  the  truck 
grower  and  gardener.  To  the  broad  acres  of  the  grower  of 
grains  and  forage  crops  it  afforded  no  relief  whatever.  Still 
later  the  work  on  the  cotton  worm  of  the  South  brought 
kerosene  emulsion  into  practical  use,  but  even  this  gave  no 
assistance  to  the  grower  of  grains  and  grasses.  Although 
the  spraying  of  trees  and  shrubs  was  begun  a  little  later  and 
virtually  began  a  new  era  for  the  fruit  grower,  yet  this,  too, 
left  the  ordinary  farmer  with  his  problems  of  insect  control 
practically  unsolved  and  himself  rather  in  the  r61e  of  an 
amused  though  skeptical  spectator.  . 


Nevertheless,  the  efforts  toward  the  control  of  the  Colorado 
potato  beetle,  the  western  migratory  locust,1  and  the  cotton 
worm  in  the  South,  although  not  directly  applicable  to  grain 
growing  or  to  the  individual  activities  of  the  farmer,  were  not 
without  their  effect  upon  him.  The  same  may  be  said  of  the 
work  of  the  writer  in  the  lower  Mississippi  Valley  during  the 
years  1886  to  1890,  looking  toward  the  control  of  the  buffalo 
gnat.  This  pest  occurred  in  such  overwhelming  numbers  as 
to  destroy  thousands  of  head  of  live  stock,  and  even  to  kill 
the  mules  drawing  street  cars  in  the  city  of  Memphis,  Tenn. 
While  it  had  nothing  to  do  with  the  cultivation  of  grains,  it 

i  The  western  migratory  locust  was  the  first  insect  pest  to  receive  attention  in  the  United 
States  with  a  view  to  its  destruction  over  wide  areas.  This  outbreak  occurred  during  the 
years  1873  to  1876,  inclusive,  and  covered  more  or  less  completely  the  States  oi  Idaho,  Mon- 
tana, Wyoming,  North  Dakota,  South  Dakota,  Minnesota,  Iowa,  Missouri,  Nebraska,  Kan- 
sas, Colorado,  Oklahoma,  and  Texas,  or  a  territory  embracing  about  2,000,000  square  miles. 
Congress  made  an  appropriation  of  $25,000,  covering  the  expenses  of  the  Entomological 
Commission,  to  investigate  the  outbreak. 
27306°— YBK  1913 6 

82  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

did  affect  the  farmer  in  that  in  many  cases  it  swept  his  horses 
and  mules  out  of  existence  just  at  the  time  in  the  spring 
when  he  needed  them  most.  A  study  of  the  cause  of  these 
outbreaks  revealed  the  fact  that  relief  lay  in  completing  the 
levees  of  the  Mississippi  River  between  Cairo  and  the  mouth 
of  the  Red  River;  for  as  these  gnats  develop  only  in  running 
water,  the  overflow  from  the  river  into  the  bayous  for  miles 
inland  provided  the  most  favorable  conditions  for  their  devel- 
opment, and  from  these  breeding  places  they  Were  carried 
great  distances  to  farms  by  the  winds.  The  levees  were 
completed,  and  since  that  time  it  is  doubtful  if  a  single  head 
of  live  stock  has  been  destroyed  by  these  pests. 

It  was  only  gradually  that  the  farmer  came  to  seek  help 
from  entomology.  Up  to  the  year  1884,  when  the  writer 
was  appointed  a  special  agent  of  the  old  Division  of  Ento- 
mology, the  Department  of  Agriculture  received  scant  funds 
for  the  purpose  of  aiding  the  farmer  by  bringing  applied  ento- 
mology within  his  reach.  About  all  that  the  department  em- 
ployees could  do  under  these  conditions  was  to  write  letters 
in  reply  to  such  requests  for  information  as  came  to  them. 

Before  the  advent  of  experiment  stations — and  there  were 
few  of  these  prior  to  1888,  and  even  for  some  time  afterwards, 
because  many  of  the  men  who  are  now  prominent  in  station 
work  had  yet  to  be  educated — letters  addressed  to  members 
of  university  faculties  complaining  of  the  ravages  of  insects 
and  asking  relief  brought  the  farmer  little  consolation.  The 
replies  he  received  to  his  appeals  for  relief  were  usually  ex- 
pressed in  a  language  that  he  did  not  understand.  More- 
over, they  were  usually  written  by  men  who  had  little  or 
no  practical  knowledge  of  agriculture.  Thus  the  breach 
already  existing  between  the  farmer  and  the  scientist  was 
continually  widened  and  in  many  cases  there  was  fostered 
an  absolutely  intolerant  feeling  on  the  part  of  each  for  the 
other.  The  real  practical  value  of  applied  entomology  to  the 
average  farmer  at  that  time  was  perhaps  best  measured  by 
the  frequently  used  illustrations  of  Cupid  with  an  insect 
net  chasing  butterflies.  The  measures  for  reaching  the 
farmer  and  helping  him  in  his  troubles  were  far  from  being 
satisfactory.  He  was  still  very  much  a  disinterested  specta- 
tor. Nor  was  the  fault  entirely  with  the  scientist,  for  the 
farmer  himself  has  been  hard  to  reach.     Indeed,  at  that  time 

Bringing  Applied  Entomology  to  the  Farmer.  83 

the  writer  could  easily  place  in  three  classes  the  farmers  to 
whom  he  was  endeavoring  to  bring  entomological  aid.     The 
first  class,  much  the  largest  in  number,  consisted  of  those 
who  looked  upon  the  whole  matter  as  a  case  of  one  person 
(the  author)  holding  down  and  continuing  to  hold  down  a 
good   job;  the   second,  those  who  considered  it  a  case  of 
"the  blind  leading  the  blind;"  and  the  third,   much  the 
smallest  class,  those  who  really  understood  the  aid  which  the 
Government  was  trying  to  extend  to  them,  and  fully  appre- 
ciated it.     An  instance  or  two  will  serve  to  illustrate  this 
last-mentioned  class:  The  author  had  spent  an  hour  with  a 
certain  farmer  in  his  wheat  field.     At  the  end  of  that  time  the 
farmer  remarked  that  he  had  been  growing  wheat  all  his  life, 
or  at  least  for  more  than  50  years,  and  yet  in  that  one  hour,  with 
a  trained  observer,  he  had  been  led  to  see  things  which  he 
not  only  had  never  seen  before,  but  of  the  very  existence  of 
which  he  had  never  dreamed.     He  further  admitted  that 
because  he  had  not  known  what  was  going  on  in  his  own  fields 
he  had  been  losing  money  during  all  of  those  years.    A  million- 
aire banker  and  farmer  once  took  the  writer  to  his  18,000- 
acre  farm  to  investigate  what  was,  to  him,  an  entirely  new 
insect,  but  which  had  practically  ruined  hundreds  of  acres 
of  his  corn.     It   so  happened  that  this  was  the  western 
corn  rootworm,  which,  while  its  work  is  exceedingly  obscure 
and  connections  between  worm  and  adult  difficult  for  the 
farmer  to  observe  and  understand,  is  withal  one  of  the  easiest 
of  all  corn  insects  to  manage  by  a  simple  rotation  of  crops. 
After  spending  a  day  in  the  cornfield  he  stated  that  had  he 
known  a  year  earlier  what  he  had  learned  in  that  one  day 
it  would  have  saved  him  $10,000,  and  he  estimated  that 
the  information  would  save  him  that  amount  annually  in  the 
future.    However,  another  case  of  a  similar  nature  turned  out 
somewhat  less  happily.     In  this  case  the  farmer  was  almost 
equally  wealthy  and  carried  out  with  equal  faithfulness  the 
recommendation  for  the  rotation  of  crops,  the  ground  where 
the  corn  had  been  destroyed  being  seeded  the  following  spring 
to  oats.     Moreover,  the  experiment,  so  far  as  the  destruction 
of  the  corn  rootworms  was  concerned,  proved  equally  effec- 
tive.    Yet  the  next  year,  as  the  writer  was  walking  the  streets 
of  a  near-by  town,  a  heavy  hand  was  laid  on  his  shoulder  and 
the  owner  of  the  hand — the  farmer  in  question — accused  him 

84  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

bluntly  of  not  having  known  what  he  was  talking  about, 
because  "the  same  thing  that  had  destroyed  the  corn  had 
turned  into  a  worm  an  inch  long  and  destroyed  the  oat  crop !" 
This  man  said  quite  frankly  that  unless  the  writer  could 
furnish  better  information,  the  sooner  the  Government  got 
rid  of  him  the  better.  When  the  farmer  had  been  convinced 
that  the  corn  rootworm  of  one  year  could  not  possibly 
develop  into  the  army  worm  of  the  next,  the  difficulty  was 
somewhat  smoothed  over.  However,  the  average  farmer 
is  still  almost  invariably  distrustful  of  one  who  has  not  been 
brought  up  on  a  farm  or  who  has  merely  had  the  training  of  a 
university,  and  it  is  still  with  no  little  difficulty  that  he 
can  be  reached  by  either  Government  or  State  entomologists 
unless  he  is  first  convinced  that  they  have  a  practical  knowl- 
edge of  agriculture.  That  he  is  not  without  excuse  for  this 
state  of  mind  has  already  been  shown. 

After  a  lapse  of  over  30  years,  and  in  an  adjoining  county, 
a  soil  expert  has  recently  been  employed  with  the  primary 
object  of  examining  the  soils  and  giving  the  farmers  advice 
as  to  what  elements  are  lacking  and  how  their  soils  can  be 
best  improved.  In  carrying  out  his  work  this  expert  has 
encountered  a  most  astonishing  condition  with  reference  to 
corn  culture,  as,  in  very  many  instances,  instead  of  chemical 
defects  in  the  soil  it  has  been  found  that  failures  in  pro- 
ducing satisfactory  crops  of  corn  have  not  been  due  to  soil 
defects  at  all  but  to  the  ravages  of  this  same  western  corn 
rootworm.  At  the  present  time  the  writer,  by  aiding  this 
soil  expert,  is  making  every  effort  to  enlighten  the  farmers, 
now  largely  of  another  generation,  as  to  the  actual  cause  of 
their  failures  and  the  thoroughly  practical  measure,  a  simple 
rotation  of  crops,  that  will  enable  them  to  overcome  it.  By 
this  means  it  is  expected  that,  with  the  aid  of  two  sciences 
instead  of  one,  practical  results  will  be  obtained  that  will 
bring  about  a  saving  of  thousands  of  dollars  to  the  farmers 
of  this  county. 


The  latest  and  most  practical  development  in  the  work  of 
bringing,  applied  entomology  to  the  farmer  is  found  in  the 
entomological  "field  stations,"  so  called,  which  have  been 
established  in  various  parts  of  the  country.  When  ento- 
mology was  first  applied  directly  to  farming  problems,  ento- 

Bringing  Applied  Entomology  to  the  Farmer.  85 

mological  workers,  both  State  and  National,  were  few  and 
widely  separated.  Cooperation,  except  in  rare  cases,  was 
impossible,  and  each  investigator  devoted  himself  to  the 
study  of  such  insects  as  occurred  in  his  immediate  neighbor- 
hood. No  other  course,  indeed,  was  open  to  him.  It  was 
frequently  the  case,  however,  that  the  insect  which  he  was 
investigating  was  not  confined  to  his  own  locality,  or  even  to 
his  own  State,  but  was  distributed  over  a  wide  area,  and 
existed  under  widely  varying  conditions  of  soil  and  climate. 
Thus,  when  the  results  of  his  investigations  were  published, 
farmers  in  whatever  section  of  country  the  pest  occurred  at 
once  attempted  to  put  into  practice  the  recommendations 
which  the  entomologist  had  made  for  the  control  of  the  insect 
and  which  were  necessarily  applicable  only  to  that  section 
of  the  country  in  which  the  investigations  had  been  made. 
When,  as  might  be  expected,  the  results  of  the  application  of 
these  recommendations  were  in  some  cases  not  all  that  could 
be  desired,  the  entomologist  got  the  blame,  in  spite  of 
the  fact  that  it  had  been  obviously  impossible  for  him  to 
carry  on  investigations  in  more  than  one  place  at  a  given  time. 
It  was  to  meet  this  need  for  local  investigation  and  experi- 
mentation in  the  broad,  interstate  investigations  that 
these  field  stations  were  established,  the  first  effort  in 
this  direction  being  made  in  the  spring  of  1905,  when  an 
entomological  laboratory  for  the  exclusive  study  of  cereal 
and  forage  insects  was  located  at  Tower  City,  N.  Dak.  The 
interior  of  this  laboratory  is  shown  in  Plate  I,  figure  1,  while 
the  field  equipment,  consisting  of  field  cages  in  which  were 
carried  on  investigations  of  the  Hessian  fly  in  its  attacks 
upon  spring  wheat,  may  be  seen  in  Plate  I,  figure  2.  At  that 
time  it  was  doubted  in  some  quarters  that  this  insect  did 
attack  spring  wheat,  but  that  it  does  do  so  was  fully  demon- 
strated by  the  aid  of  these  rather  primitive  facilities,  as  was 
also  the  fact  that  durum  wheat  is  practically  immune  to  its 
attacks.  In  the  same  year  a  laboratory  was  established  at 
Richmond,  Ind.  The  laboratories  at  that  time  each  con- 
sisted of  but  a  single  room  in  a  dwelling  house,  the  work 
done  therein  being  supplemented  by  more  or  less  extensive 
field  experiments.  The  principal  work  done  at  Richmond 
was  in  studying  the  spring  grain-aphis,  or  "green  bug,"  for 
which  work  Congress  had  made  a  special  appropriation. 

86  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 


Since  that  time  we  have  far  outgrown  these  primitive 
arrangements,  and  a  small  dwelling  house  is  often  leased 
entire,  such  as  the  one  at  Greenwood,  Miss.  (PI.  I,  fig.  3),  or 
Tempe,  Ariz.  (PI.  II,  fig.  1).  As  the  work  expanded,  more 
room  in  these  laboratories  became  necessary,  and  more  com- 
modious quarters  were  therefore  obtained,  as  seen  in  the 
laboratory  at  Nashville,  Tenn.  (PI.  II,  fig.  2),  or  the  one  at 
Hagerstown,  Md.  (PI.  II,  fig.  3),  where  the  half  of  a  double 
house  is  utilized  for  this  purpose,  and  by  the  one  at  Wellington, 
Kans.  The  last  is  shown  in  Plate  III,  figure  3,  while  the' 
out-of-door  breeding  cage,  in  which  insects  are  reared  under 
conditions  as  near  as  possible  to  those  in  the  fields,  is  illus- 
trated in  Plate  III,  figure  4. 

Where  satisfactory  buildings  can  not  be  leased  for  this 
purpose,  real  estate  men  or  contractors  are  usually  willing 
to  erect  buildings  suitable  for  our  purpose,  leasing  them  to 
the  Department  of  Agriculture.  Such  an  arrangement  is 
illustrated  by  the  laboratory  at  Elk  Point,  S.  Dak.  (PI.  Ill, 
fig.  2),  and  the  one  at  Salt  Lake  City,  Utah  (PI.  Ill,  fig.  1). 

At  Brownsville,  Tex.,  the  building  formerly  occupied  as  a 
cavalry  barracks  at  old  Fort  Brown  was,  upon  its  abandon- 
ment as  a  military  post,  placed  at  the  disposal  of  the  depart- 
ment and  was  fitted  up  as  an  entomological  laboratory. 
The  building  is  shown  in  Plate  IV,  figure  1,  and  the  out-of- 
door  breeding  cage  in  figure  2  of  the  same  plate.  In  some 
cases  universities  have  been  kind  enough  to  give  us  necessary 
laboratory  quarters  in  their  buildings  and  ample  facilities 
for  outside  work.  An  instance  of  this  sort  is  found  in  the 
work  at  Purdue  University,  La  Fayette,  Ind.  (PI.  IV,  fig.  3), 
while  another  is  seen  at  the  University  of  South  Carolina, 
Columbia,  S.  C.  (PI.  IV,  fig.  4). 

A  laboratory  entirely  different  from  those  previously 
mentioned  was  established  in  the  spring  of  1913,  when  it 
became  necessary  to  carry  on  investigations  in  the  midst  of 
a  100,000-acre  cattle  range,  miles  away  not  only  from  the 
nearest  town  but  from  the  nearest  human  habitation.  A 
field  camp  (PI.  V,  fig.  2)  was  therefore  located  at  a  point 
not  too  far  from  the  small  mining  town  of  Koehler,  N.  Mex. 
The  temporary  field  laboratory  is  shown  in  Plate  V,  figure  1 . 
The  breeding  cages  necessary  to  this  work  in  the  develop- 

Bringing  Applied  Entomology  to  the  Farmer.  87 

ment  of  parasites  that  had  been  previously  imported  from 
Europe  are  seen  in  Plate  V,  figure  3.  This  field  station  and 
laboratory  in  the  open  range  is  a  very  modern  innovation 
and  something  that  could  not,  by  any  possibility,  have  been 
inaugurated  and  carried,  out  10  years  ago,  not  only  because 
at  that  time  funds  were  not  available  for  such  an  under- 
taking, but  also  because  of  the  fact  that  public  sentiment 
would  not  have  offered  any  encouragement  looking  toward 
this  particular  piece  of  work. 

Another  phase  of  the  work  of  bringing  aid  to  the  farmer  is 
illustrated  in  Plate  VI,  figure  1,  where  are  shown  breeding 
cages  for  the  rearing  of  parasites  artificially,  the  parasites 
to  be  shipped  to  distant  points  and  there  liberated  in  the 
fields,  with  the  view  of  thus  destroying  insect  pests  of  the 
wheat  field.  In  this  particular  case  the  parasites,  through 
the  courtesy  of  this  Government  to  the  British  Government, 
were  consigned  to  the  official  entomologist  of  British  East 

A  parasite  of  the  alfalfa  weevil,  a  European  insect  that  was 
accidentally  introduced  in  the  vicinity  of  Salt  Lake,  has 
by  the  reverse  procedure  been  brought  from  the  native  home 
of  the  species  in  Europe  and  liberated  in  the  alfalfa  fields 
of  Utah.  Plate  VI,  figure  2,  illustrates  a  party  of  Italians 
employed  in  their  native  country  to  collect  alfalfa  stems  likely 
to  contain  parasitized  eggs  of  the  weevil.  Figure  3  of  the  same 
plate  shows  another  group  charged  with  the  more  responsible 
duty  of  selecting  for  shipment  to  this  country  all  stems 
known  to  contain  such  eggs.  After  they  had  been  developed 
artificially  in  the  laboratory  at  Salt  Lake  City  the  parasites 
were  liberated  in  fields  of  alfalfa  that  had  become  infested 
by  the  alfalfa  weevil.  Plate  VI,  figure  4,  shows  the  manner 
in  which  this  was  done. 



As  evidence  of  the  practical  value  of  these  field  stations,  it 
may  be  stated  that  farmers  and  stockmen  are  coming  more 
and  more  not  only  to  make  use  of  these  stations  by  telephone, 
but  also  by  taking  members  of  the  staff  of  assistants  to  their 
own  farms.  They  are  also  acquiring  an  intelligent  interest 
in  the  more  technical  features  of  the  laboratory  work.  Time 
was  when  a  farmer,  seeing  an  experiment  carried  on  under 

88  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

a  lantern  globe,  would  have  become  so  utterly  disgusted  as 
forever  to  forswear  all  interest  in  that  particular  kind  of 
work.  Now,  however,  he  pursues  an  entirely  different 
course.  Not  only  does  the  insect  pest  itself  interest  him,  but 
he  also  cultivates  a  business  acquaintance  with  its  parasites 
and  other  insect  foes,  for  he  is  beginning  to  understand  that 
there  are  really  more  beneficial  than  harmful  insects,  and 
that  the  former  are  his  friends.  He  therefore  likes  to  see 
the  experiments  at  short  range,  and  when  he  returns  to  his 
own  fields  he  is  all  the  better  able  to  detect  the  presence  of 
the  pest  if  it  occurs. 

We  have  found,  too,  that  one  of  the  most  satisfactory 
methods  of  bringing  applied  entomology  to  the  farmer  is  to 
carry  out  field  experiments  in  places  where  these  experi- 
ments can  be  easily  observed.  We  have  made  it  a  point  to 
let  the  farming  community  know  exactly  what  we  are  trying 
to  do,  and  to  explain  carefully  the  measures  that  are  being 
carried  out.  By  watching  the  experiments  themselves, 
knowing  just  what  we  are  trying  to  do,  how  we  are  doing 
it,  and  the  object  in  view,  the  farmers  are  able  to  see  pre- 
cisely what  results  are  obtained.  This  work,  carried  out  in 
their  own  locality,  under  local  climatic,  geographic,  and 
agricultural  conditions  in  their  own  fields,  shows  them  much 
more  clearly  than  could  otherwise  be  explained  that  what 
we  can  do  they  themselves  can  do.  In  such  cases  negative 
results  are  to  them  of  a3  much  value  as  positive  ones.  This 
must  not  be  confused  with  mere  demonstration.  It  is 
actual  experimentation  with  the  farmer  taken  into  partner- 
ship and  really  paves  the  way  for  the  demonstrator  and 
extension  worker. 

Another  most  important  point  with  reference  to  this 
matter  of  personal  contact  with  the  farmer  is  that  he  is 
still,  generally  speaking,  strongly  averse  to  reading  about 
insects  that  may  or  may  not  attack  his  crops  in  the  future. 
He  can  not  by  any  possibility  bring  himself  to  take  an 
interest  in  such  matters.  As  one  of  them  explained,  "It 
is  all  right  for  you  people  who  understand  these  things,  but 
for  us  farmers  it  is  very  much  like  attempting  the  manage^ 
ment  of  a  Krupp  gun."  We  have  found  that  after  there  has 
been  a  personal  examination  of  fields — and  this  sometimes 
involves  a  whole  community — the  farmers  frequently,  either 
individually  or  collectively,  are  then  ready  to  read  almost 

Bringing  Applied  Entomology  to  the  Farmer.  89 

anything  put  before  them.relating  to  these  particular  pests  or 
their  parasites,  because  they  have  seen  them  working  in  their 
own  fields  and  have  seen  also  the  results  of  such  work.  It 
seems  that  then,  and  not  before,  is  the  time  to  place  entomo- 
logical literature  before  the  farmer.  It  is  only  a  different 
phase  of  what  we  all  experience  at  some  time  or  other,  and 
which  may  be  illustrated  by  the  well-known  fact  that  while  we 
may  for  years  have  been  reading  about  a  certain  interesting 
or  historic  locality,  it  is  only  after  visiting  the  place  and 
becoming  personally  acquainted  with  it  that  the  descriptions 
become  really  interesting  to  us,  and  it  is  then  that  we  desire 
to  gather  up  and  reread  whatever  we  have  regarding  it. 

There  is  one  more  point  which  must  b'e  brought  out  in 
connection  with  the  practical  value  of  these  field  stations. 
The  farmers'  institutes  have  accomplished  a  great  work,  and 
it  is  no  criticism  against  them  to  call  attention  to  the  fact 
that  very  many  farmers  will  sit  through  an  institute  meeting, 
listening  intently,  but  will  ask  no  questions  and  give  no 
experiences.  Somehow  it  seems  as  though  a  body  of  people 
brought  together  in  this  way  gives  the  average  farmer  a 
species  of  lockjaw.  Yet  these  same  men,  interviewed  in 
their  own  fields  by  some  one  who  fits  in  with  their  life,  imme- 
diately re-acquire  the  power  of  speech  and  give  out  informa- 
tion freely,  often  supplementing  the  knowledge  acquired  by 
the  entomologist  in  his  laboratory.  If  these  field  stations 
accomplished  nothing  more  than  this  they  would  repay  over 
and  over  again  the  funds  annually  appropriated  for  the  work. 

But  it  is  largely  through  the  work  and  efficiency  of  these 
field  stations  that  entomology  as  applied  to  the  farm  has 
been,  within  the  last  25  years,  completely  revolutionized. 
Through  their  comparative  accessibility  to  all  sections  of  the 
country  it  is  now  possible,  when  complaint  is  made  of  an 
insect  outbreak  of  more  than  local  importance,  to  wire 
instructions  to  an  expert  stationed  at  the  field  station  nearest 
to  the  point  of  outbreak,  charging  him  to  proceed  at  once 
to  that  point  and  investigate  the  trouble  a't  first  hand.  •  Thus 
the  farmer  who  has  made  application  to  the  Department  of 
Agriculture  for  assistance,  either  directly  or,  as  is  frequently 
done,  through  his  representative  in  Congress,  is  often  sur- 
prised to  receive,  instead  of  an  impersonal  reply  by  mail,  a 
"living  epistle,"  as  it  were,  in  the  person  of  a  young  man 
who  by  training  and  experience  is  fitted  to  assist  in  con- 

90  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

trolling  the  pest.  This  young  man,  expert  both  in  ento- 
mology and  in  agriculture,  goes  about  with  the  farmer  over 
his  fields  and  over  the  fields  of  his  neighbors,  pointing  out  to 
them,  in  a  perfectly  natural  and  intelligible  way,  things 
which  have  been  mysteries  to  them  heretofore.  He  shows 
them  wherein  their  farming  methods  have  been  responsible 
for  losses  due  to  insect  attack  in  the  past  and  how,  by  suitable 
cropping  systems  and  methods  of  cultivation,  such  losses 
may  be  averted  in  the  future;  thus,  again,  clearing  the  way 
for  actual  extension  and  demonstration  work. 

It  must  be  borne  in  mind  that  the  men  connected  with 
these  field  stations  are  working  as  a  unit  and  not  as  isolated 
and  independent  individuals  and  upon  interstate  and  not 
local  problems,  regardless  of  State  boundaries.  Securing 
facts  in  New  England  and  attempting  to  apply  them  under 
the  agricultural  conditions  existing  in  Texas,  Montana,  or 
Florida  is  neither  good  entomology  nor  good  agriculture. 
These  men  do  not  recognize  State  lines  at  all,  nor  are  they 
bound  by  them,  and  the  same  insect  is  studied  through- 
out its  entire  area  of  habitation,  under  every  climatic, 
geographic,  and  agricultural  condition.  In  this  way  it  is 
possible  to  meet  the  farmer  on  his  own  ground  and  show 
him  what  he  can  do  in  his  own  locality,  under  his  own 
agricultural  conditions  and  cropping  system,  as  compared 
with  merely  telling  him  what  someone  else  has  done  a  thou- 
sand miles  away  and  perhaps  only  in  the  restricted  area  of  a 
garden  patch.  The  comparative  advantages  of  these  two 
methods  of  handling  the  insect  problems  of  the  farmer  are 
too  obvious  to  need  discussion. 

As  has  already  been  stated,  these  men  are  not  demon- 
strators but  investigators,  whose  duty  it  is  to  work  out  the 
full  life  history  and  habits  of  insects  destructive  to  grain  and 
forage  crops  at  the  various  fully  equipped  field  laboratories 
nearest  to  the  localities  where  these  ravages  occur.  Having 
secured  such  information  in  this  manner,  it  must  be  thor- 
oughly tried  out  in  the  fields  over  wide  areas  under  ordinary 
farm  conditions,  otherwise  we  shall  be  exactly  where  the 
earlier  entomologists  were  a  half  century  ago.  When  final 
results  are  obtained,  these  are  available  for  use  by  experi- 
ment stations,  demonstrators,  or  other  experts,  and  will  be 
found  applicable  throughout  the  entire  area  of  destructive 
abundance  of  such  insects. 

Bringing  Applied  Entomology  to  the  Farmer.  91 

In  such  work  State  boundary  lines  fade  away,  and 
instead  we  recognize  only  the  boundaries  of  distribution  of 
each  particular  insect  and  upon  which  the  activities  of  such 
members  of  the  force  as  become  necessary  can  be  concen- 
trated. We  thus  are  able  to  get  finished  and  complete 
results  instead  of  fragmentary  ones,  and  do  for  several 
States  what  they  are  not  in  a  position  to  do  for  themselves. 

It  is  not  expected  that  these  men  shall  devote  their 
attention  to  strictly  local  outbreaks  of  insects,  but  to 
such  as  extend  over  more  than  a  single  State.  Thus, 
avoiding  local  matters,  they  are  better  able  to  bring  a 
greater  power  to  bear  upon  interstate  problems,  and  it  is 
due  to  present  conditions  that  it  has  been  possible  to  bring 
this  factor  into  action.  The  same  insects  may  be,  and 
sometimes  are,  destructive  in  one  section  and  harmless  in 
another.  They  may,  and  some  do,  attack  one  crop  in  one 
locality  and  another  entirely  different  crop  in  another,  or 
they  may  attack  the  same  crop  differently  under  different 
environments.  They  may,  and  some  of  them  do,  originate 
each  year  in  the  extreme  south,  and  later  in  the  season 
commit  serious  and  widespread  ravages  far  to  the  north- 
ward; and  it  is  only  through  national  measures  that  such 
conditions  can  be  reached  and  remedied. 

In  cases  where  details  for  special  investigations  are 
requested  by  Members  of  Congress,  it  is  always  left  to  the 
judgment  of  the  entomologist  in  general  charge  of  the  section 
from  which  the  detail  is  to  be  drawn  to  decide  whether  a 
personal  examination  is  necessary,  whether  the  interests  of 
the  Department  of  Agriculture  will  be  benefited  in  its  re- 
searches in  this  way,  whether  in  view  of  the  general  distri- 
bution of  the  pest  and  possibilities  of  danger  from  it  in  future, 
more  extended  investigations  are  necessary,  or  whether  the 
matter  is  not  a  local  one  which  can  be  handled  equally  well 
by  State  authorities. 

Thus  it  is  that  applied  entomology  is  being  rapidly  brought 
more  and  more  to  the  farmer  himself,  in  his  own  fields,  and 
we  are  able  to  reach  out  to  him  to  an  extent  that  has  never 
before  been  possible;  and  he  is  fast  coming  to  realize  that 
while  he  may  have  been,  owing  to  previously  existing  con- 
ditions, the  last  to  benefit  by  this  somewhat  difficult  science 
of  entomology,  he  need  not,  by  any  means,  be  the  least 
profited  thereby.     There  does  hot  seem  to  be  any  reason  why 

92  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

this  work  should  not  be  extended  until  every  farming  com- 
munity can  be  reached  and  benefited.  Indeed  the  term 
"community"  is  hardly  applicable  in  this  sense,  for  even  the 
most  extended  stock  range  of  the  West  is  not  necessarily 
debarred  from  securing  equal  benefits. 

It  must  not  be  supposed  that  all  of  the  activity  in  applied 
entomology  is  being  confined  to  cereal  and  forage  insects, 
because  those  affecting  fruits,  truck,  and  other  crops  are 
also  receiving  attention.  That  the  United  States  is  far  in 
advance  of  other  nations  in  the  practical  application  of  the 
science  of  entomology  is  evidenced  by  the  fact  that  ento- 
mologists, both  students  and  experts,  from  all  quarters  of  the 
world  come  to  this  country  for  the  purpose  of  studying  our 
system  and  methods  of  work.  Many  of  these  are  being  aided 
financially  by  private  philanthropy,  while  others  are  sent  here 
by  foreign  nations  at  public  expense. 

Thus  it  is  that  by  the  aid  of  Congress  and  under  the 
fostering  care  of  the  United  States  Department  of  Agri- 
culture the  mysticism  and  misconception  regarding  insects 
that  have  prevailed  among  farmers,  and  indeed  have  fol- 
lowed them  throughout  their  migration  from  east  to  west,  for 
centuries,  are  being  swept  away  and  the  twentieth  century 
is  to  see  the  farmer  profit  equally  with  his  brother  husband- 
men from  a  practical  knowledge  of  insects  and  their  habits 
and  learn  how,  when,  and  where  they  can  best  be  reached 
and  controlled  by  practical  measures  intelligently  applied. 


By  W.  J.  Spillman, 
Agriculturist  in  Charge  of  Farm- Management  Investigations,  Bureau  of  Plant 



DATA  are  available  for  the  discussion  of  only  a  few  of 
the  factors  which  contribute  to  the  success  of  a  farm 
business.  Among  the  more  important  of  these  are  the 
magnitude  of  the  undertaking,  which  may  be  measured  by 
the  area  farmed,  the  amount  of  working  capital  employed, 
or  the  amount  of  productive  labor  provided;  the  system  of 
organization,  which  determines  the  degree  of  diversity  of 
enterprises  on  the  farm,  the  seasonal  distribution  of  labor, 
and  the  amount  and  character  of  equipment  required;  the 
adaptability  of  the  chosen  enterprises  (crops,  types  of  live 
stock,  etc.)  to  soil,  climatic,  and  economic  conditions;  the 
quality  of  the  business,  as  indicated  by  yield  per  acre  or 
product  per  animal  unit;  and,  finally,  the  individuality  of 
the  farmer  himself.     Each  of  these  is  discussed  briefly. 


An  important  factor  in  determining  the  amount  of  income 
the  farmer  can  secure  is  the  magnitude  of  the  business  he 
conducts.  Other  things  being  equal,  the  larger  the  business 
the  greater  the  possibility  of  profit.  But  it  is  also  true  that 
the  larger  the  business  the  greater  the  possibility  of  loss.  It 
is  important  that  the  magnitude  of  the  business  should  not 
exceed  the  managerial  ability  of  the  owner  or  tenant,  as  the 
case  may  be,  but  within  this  limit  it  is  easier  to  make  money 
on  a  large  farm  than  on  a  small  one. 

There  are  three  means  of  measuring  the  magnitude  of  a 
farm  business.  One  is  the  area  of  land  utilized,  another  is 
the  amount  of  working  capital  employed,  and  the  third  is 
the  amount  of  productive  labor  the  farm  furnishes.  These 
three  factors  are  not  independent  of  each  other.  In  general, 
the  larger  the  area  of  productive  land  the  greater  the  working 



Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

capital  and  the  amount  of  productive  labor,  but  this  is  not 
always  the  case.  Data  are  not  available  for  determining 
the  independent  influence  of  these  three  means  of  measuring 
the  magnitude  of  the  business,  but  we  have  many  data  which 
tend  to  show  that  each  is  closely  correlated  with  profit. 

In  the  following  paragraphs  use  is  made  of  the  terms 
"farm  income"  and  "labor  income."  By  "farm  income" 
is  meant  the  difference  between  receipts  and  expenses.  The 
farm  income  must  pay  interest  on  the  investment  and  wages 
to  the  farmer;  hence,  farm  income  is  usually  divided  into 
capital  income  and  labor  income. 


The  table  which  follows  shows  certain  facts  developed  in 
a  farm  survey  conducted  by  the  Office  of  Farm  Manage- 
ment in  the  States  of  Indiana,  Illinois,  and  Iowa.  In  all, 
about  700  farms  were  included  in  this  survey.  Of  these 
farms  273  were  operated  by  their  owners  and  a  somewhat 
smaller  number  by  tenants.  The  remainder  were  operated 
by  small  landowners  who  rented  additional  land,  a  very 
common  practice  in  that  section  of  the  country.  The  data 
in  the  following  table  relate  to  the  273  farms  operated  by 
their  owners. 

Relation  of  size  of  farm  to  farm  income. 

ber of 

Size  limits. 



ber of 

Size  limits. 







0  to  40  acres 

40  to  80  acres... 
80  to  120  acres. . . 
120  to  160  acres.. 












160  to  200  acres  . 
200  to  280  acres.. 
280  to  400  acres.. 
400  to  1,250  acres 





$1,  956 

Here  it  is  seen  that  the  farm  income  increases  quite  regu- 
larly with  the  size  of  the  farm.  Similar  results  are  given  in 
Table  27,  page  414,  of  Cornell  Agricultural  Experiment 
Station  Bulletin  295,  for  a  farm-management  survey  con- 
ducted in  the  State  of  New  York. 

This  is  quite  generally  true  where  the  type  of  organization 
is  similar  on  the  various  farms  compared,  but  a  small  farm 
may  be  so  organized  as  to  provide  a  large  business.  Hence, 
the  area  of  improved  land  is  not  the  only  means  of  measuring 

Factors  of  Efficiency  in  Farming.  95 

the  magnitude  of  the  farm  business,  but  it  is  important  to 
remember  that  the  smaller  the  farm  the  more  difficult  it  is  to 
organize  it  in  such  a  way  as  to  give  a  large  amount  of  pro- 
ductive labor  and  good  seasonal  distribution  of  that  labor. 
It  therefore  requires  greater  ability  to  make  a  preeminent 
success  on  a  small  farm  than  it  does  on  a  farm  of  considerable 
size.  On  the  other  hand,  it  requires  more  ability  to  make  a 
success  on  a  very  large  farm  than  on  a  medium-sized  farm. 
In  all  of  our  farm-management  surveys  we  find,  where  a 
large  number  of  farms  are  studied,  that  both  the  largest 
losses  and  largest  profits  occur  on  the  largest  farms,  but  on 
the  average  the  larger  the  farm  the  greater  the  profit. 

The  farm-management  survey  above  referred  to,  con- 
ducted in  the  States  of  Indiana,  Illinois,  and  Iowa,  brought 
out  the  interesting  fact  that  the  size  of  the  farm  is  more 
closely  related  to  the  labor  income  on  tenant  farms  than  it  is 
on  farms  operated  by  their  owners.  Thus  it  happened  that 
26  of  the  farms  conducted  by  owners  were  80-acre  farms, 
while  25  were  160-acre  farms.  The  average  labor  income 
on  the  160-acre  farms  was  only  37  per  cent  greater  than  on 
the  80-acre  farms.  In  the  same  survey  28  of  the  tenant 
farms  were  80-acre  farms  and  37  were  160-acre  farms.  The 
average  labor  income  on  the  160-acre  tenant  farms  was  105 
per  cent  greater  than  on  the  80-acre  tenant  farms.  The 
reason  for  this  stricter  proportionality  between  the  size  of 
the  tenant  farm  and  the  labor  income  than  between  the  size  of 
the  owned  farm  and  the  labor  income  is  not  far  to  seek.  The 
tenant  has  very  little  capital,  and  his  family,  therefore,  must 
live  principally  on  the  labor  income  obtained.  There  is 
consequently  a  spur  to  the  greatest  possible  endeavor.  But 
on  farms  conducted  by  their  owners,  the  farm  family,  in 
addition  to  the  labor  income,  has  the  interest  on  the  invest- 
ment. They  can,  therefore,  live  quite  comfortably  without 
such  strenuous  effort  as  is  required  on  the  part  of  a  tenant 
whose  capital  is  small. 


The  amount  of  working  capital  required  on  a  given  farm 
depends  both  on  the  size  of  the  farm  and  on  the  type  of  its 
organization.  In  general,  the  larger  the  working  capital  the 
larger  the  profits,  provided  the  system  of  organization  is 


Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

good.  The  following  table  gives  a  comparison  of  the  work- 
ing capital  and  labor  income  on  the  247  tenant  farms  studied 
in  the  farm  survey  referred  to  above. 

Relation  of  working  capital  to  labor  income  on  247  tenant  farms. 

of  farms. 


Size  groups. 

Capital  below  $500 

Capital  $500  to  $1,000.. 
Capital  $1,000  to  $1,500. 
Capital  $1,500  to  $2,000. 
Capital  $2,000  to  $3,000. 
Capital  $3,000  to  $4,000. 
Capital  $4,000  to  $6,000. 
Capital  over  $6,000 












All  of  the  tenant's  capital  is  working  capital,  and  on  these 
farms  the  tenants  furnished  practically  all  of  this  capital. 
The  labor  income  mounts  rapidly  with  increase  in  working 
capital.  It  is  to  be  regretted  that  the  number  of  farms  in 
this  survey  is  not  sufficiently  large  to  enable  us  to  determine 
the  relation  between  working  capital  and  labor  income  on 
farms  of  the  same  size.  Part  of  the  increase  in  labor  income 
shown  in  the  foregoing  table  is  undoubtedly  due  to  increase 
in  the  size  of  the  farm. 


Since  the  values  created  in  the  operation  of  a  farm  are 
the  results  of  the  application  of  labor,  it  is  not  surprising  to 
find  that  the  greater  the  amount  of  productive  labor  a  farm 
furnishes  the  greater  is  the  profit  in  farming.  In  a  survey 
conducted  by  Mr.  G.  P.  Scoville,  county  agent  for  Chemung 
County,  N.  Y.,  the  amount  of  productive  labor  furnished 
by  a  considerable  number  of  farms  was  compared  with  their 
labor  incomes,  as  shown  in  the  following  table.  The  first 
group  of  farms  furnished  an  average  of  278  days  of  produc- 
tive labor  annually,  giving  an  average  labor  income  of  $279, 
or  almost  exactly  $1  a  day.  Another  group  furnished  an 
average  of  406  days  of  productive  labor,  returning  a  labor 
income  of  $574,  or  $1.41  a  day.  A  third  group  furnished 
678  days  of  labor,  giving  a  labor  income  of  $1,037,  or  $1.53  a 
day.     Thus,  not  only  does  labor  income  increase  with  the 

Factors  of  Efficiency  in  Farming. 


amount  of  productive  labor  provided  by  the  farm,  but  it 
increases  at  a  considerably  higher  rate,  so  that  the  greater 
the  amount  of  labor  the  greater  the  profit  per  day's  labor. 
This  is  to  be  explained  presumably  on  the  basis  that  the 
farmer  who  has  the  ability  so  to  organize  his  farm  as  to  give 
a  maximum  amount  of  productive  labor  also  has  the  ability 
to  make  that  labor  more  effective  than  in  the  case  of  the 
average  farmer. 

Relation  of  labor  income  to  amount  of  productive  labor. 



Labor  income. 

of  farms . 

Tor  year. 

Per  day. 


278  days 





28.   .. 


678  days 



Reference  has  already  been  made  to  the  fact  that  the  type 
of  organization  may  be  such  as  to  require  a  large  amount  of 
working  capital  and  provide  a  large  amount  of  productive 
labor  even  on  a  small  farm.  It  may  bunch  the  labor  at  cer- 
tain periods  of  the  year,  leaving  other  periods  compara- 
tively idle,  or  it  may  distribute  the  labor  evenly  throughout 
the  seasons.  On  many  farms  no  regular  type  of  organization 
exists,  and  the  actual  management  of  the  live  stock  and  field 
crops  varies  greatly  from  season  to  season  because  of  the  exi- 
gencies of  the  new  situations  which  are  continually  arising 
on  a  farm  which  is  run  without  any  definite  plan.  In  some 
seasons  a  farmer  will  have  more  of  some  particular  crop  than 
his  available  force  can  cultivate  properly.  He  will  thus  slight 
the  work.  In  other  seasons  he  may  have  less  of  the  crop 
than  he  could  manage.  Under  these  circumstances  he  is 
apt  to  put  more  labor  on  the  crop  than  conditions  justify. 

The  economy  and  adequacy  of  equipment  on  the  farm  also 
have  much  to  do  with  the  possibility  of  profit.  Definite  data 
are  not  available  for  determining  the  exact  relation  between 
all  the  organization  factors  here  mentioned  and  profit  in 
farming,  but  such  data  as  are  available  will  be  given. 

27306°— YBK  1913 7 

98  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 


Especially  when  farms  are  small,  diversity  of  enterprises 
is  an  important  factor  in  providing  productive  labor  and  in 
distributing  this  labor  to  advantage  throughout  the  season. 
The  table  following  gives  comparisons  between  the  degree 
of  diversity  and  the  labor  income : 

Relation  of  diversity  of  enterprises  to  labor  income. 

Chemung  County,  N.  Y.,  survey. 

Michigan  s-urvey. 

IN  umber 
of  farms. 

Degree  of  diversity. 


of  farms. 













2  to  3 




3  to  4 





Over  5 


The  results  given  in  the  first  half  of  the  foregoing  table 
were  obtained  in  the  survey  already  mentioned  in  Chemung 
County,  N.  Y.,  while  those  in  the  second  half  were  obtained 
in  a  farm-management  survey  conducted  by  the  Office  of 
Farm  Management  in  southern  Michigan.  In  Chemung 
County,  N.  Y.,  24  poorly  organized  farms  gave  an  average 
labor  income  of  $147.  Eighteen  farms  having  moderately 
good  organization  produced  an  average  labor  income  of  $534, 
while  22  well-organized  farms  gave  an  average  labor  income 
of  $1,031.  In  the  Michigan  survey  the  degree  of  diversity 
is  given  in  terms  of  the  diversity  index.  A  farm  for  which 
the  diversity  index  is  4  has  a  diversity  of  enterprises  equiva- 
lent to  four  equal  enterprises.  Of  the  farms  studied  in  this 
survey,  the  diversity  index  is  from  less  than  2  to  more  than  5. 
In  general,  it  is  seen  that  the  labor  income  increases  with 
diversity.  It  happens,  however,  that  there  were  two  farms 
in  this  survey  with  a  diversity  index  less  than  2  but  with 
very  high  labor  incomes. 

There  are  two  conditions  which  may  make  farming  very 
profitable,  at  least  at  times,  without  diversity  of  enterprises. 
One  of  these  conditions  arises  when  in  any  community  a 
particular  farm  enterprise  is  for  any  reason  exceedingly  profit- 
able. As  long  as  this  condition  lasts  the  greatest  profit  may 
be  made  by  sticking  to  this  one  enterprise,  even  if  it  leaves 

Factors  of  Efficiency  in  Farming.  99 

the  farmer  and  his  working  force  idle  for  a  considerable  por- 
tion of  the  year.  But  conditions  of  this  kind  are  nearly 
always  temporary  and  in  most  cases  decidedly  short  lived, 
so  that  such  farming  is  usually  unsafe.  The  other  condi- 
tion under  which  farming  may  be  quite  profitable  without 
diversity  of  enterprises  is  that  under  which  a  single  farm 
enterprise  permits  the  use  of  large  power  units  and  gives 
good  seasonal  distribution  of  labor.  This  is  the  case  with 
wheat  culture  as  conducted  in  the  Pacific  northwest.  The 
actual  income  a  family  can  secure  on  a  proper-sized  farm 
with  this  system  of  farming  is  large,  but  on  account  of  the 
large  acreage  required  it  is  necessary  that  the  land  be  cheap, 
in  order  that  there  may  be  a  labor  income  in  addition  to  an 
income  on  the  capital.  Such  a  single-crop  system  of  farming 
is  also  exposed  to  the  danger  which  inheres  in  any  farm 
business  based  on  a  single  enterprise,  namely,  fluctuation  in 
price  and  danger  from  loss  because  of  untimely  weather 
conditions.  Diversified  farming  is,  therefore,  safer  than 
farming  based  on  a  very  small  number  of  enterprises,  and 
under  most  conditions  is  more  profitable.  It  usually  gives 
more  productive  labor  than  nondiversified  systems,  and  by 
properly  choosing  the  enterprises  and  regulating  their  mag- 
nitude it  can  be  made  to  give  an  excellent  seasonal  distribu- 
tion of  labor,  thus  permitting  the  farmer  and  his  family  to 
do  a  larger  proportion  of  the  labor  with  a  minimum  of  horse- 
power and  other  equipment. 


There  is  an  utter  lack  of  system  in  the  management  of 
farm  enterprises  on  many  farms.  Too  little  attention  has 
been  given  to  standardizing  systems  of  management  of  enter- 
prises for  different  localities.  In  tabulating  the  number  and 
kind  of  operations  performed,  say,  upon  the  corn  crop  on 
different  farms,  and  especially  in  different  localities,  one  is 
struck  by  the  enormous  variations  in  practice.  The  ques- 
tion arises  whether  there  is  any  fundamental  basis  other  than 
custom  for  these  variations.  The  subject  is  one  which  de- 
serves investigation. 

While  the  Office  of  Farm  Management  has  many  data  on 
this  subject,  these  data  are  not  sufficient  to  justify  conclu- 
sions and  will  therefore  not  be  given  here,  except  merely  to 
illustrate  the  fact  that  notable  variations  of  the  kind  in 
question  do  exist,  even  on  neighboring  farms. 


Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

Hours  of  man  labor  per  acre  of  cultivated  land  on  three  neighboring  farms  of 

similar  type. 





Labor  on 




A !          0.82 

B !         1.08 

C !           .82 








The  foregoing  table  shows  certain  data  concerning  three 
neighboring  farms  in  a  Middle  Western  State.  The  sizes  of 
the  farms  are  shown  in  the  third  column.  The  relative  crop 
yields  are  shown  in  the  second  column  under  the  heading 
"Crop  index."  It  is  seen  that  farms  A  and  C  have  the  same 
average  yields,  while  farm  B  has  yields  one-fourth  greater. 
Farmer  C  does  more  work  than  is  necessary.  Farmer  A 
evidently  does  less,  while  farmer  B,  who  gets  excellent  results, 
probably  devotes  about  the  proper  amount  of  labor  to  his 
various  enterprises.  It  is  seen  that  the  number  of  hours  of 
man  labor  per  acre  of  all  crops  varies  from  19  on  farm  A  to 
26  on  farm  C.  A  more  marked  difference,  however,  occurs 
in  the  number  of  hours  of  labor  devoted  to  live  stock,  which 
varies  from  8.3  for  each  acre  of  cropped  land  on  farm  A  to 
28.6  on  farm  C.  The  same  general  difference  appears  in  all 
the  divisions  of  farm  labor.  Farmer  C  spends  more  time  on 
his  crops  and  very  much  more  on  his  live  stock,  although  he 
has  less  live  stock  per  acre  than  farmer  B,  and  more  time  in 
marketing  his  produce  than  either  of  the  others.  But  it  is 
in  miscellaneous  work  that  farmer  C  shows  to  least  advantage. 
He  is  able  to  find  32  hours  of  miscellaneous  work,  for  most  of 
which  he  gets  nothing,  for  every  acre  of  crops  he  produces. 
In  all,  he  does  91  hours  of  farm  work  for  every  acre  of  his 
crops,  while  farmer  A  works  only  35  and  farmer  B  only  51 
hours.  Part  of  these  differences  is  due  to  the  fact  that  far- 
mer C  has  a  very  small  farm,  but  B  has  a  larger  farm  than  A. 
The  point  is  that  the  adoption  of  systematic  methods  in  con- 
ducting farm  work  and  the  establishing  of  standard  systems 
of  management  of  enterprises  would  help  to  eliminate  unnec- 
essary operations  and  greatly  increase  the  efficiency  of  farm 

Factors  of  Efficiency  in  Farming.  101 


One  of  the  most  important  factors  in  determining  profit  in 
farming  is  the  adaptability  of  enterprises  to  soil  and  climatic 
conditions,  and  especially  to  existing  economic  conditions. 
Adaptability  to  soil  and  climatic  conditions  is  so  obvious  as 
to  need  only  mention  here,  but  the  facts  regarding  adapt- 
ability to  economic  conditions  are  not  so  well  understood. 

The  table  on  page  102  gives  an  estimate  of  the  average 
labor  income  for  one  of  the  leading  dairy  counties  in  the 
State  of  Wisconsin  and  one  of  the  leading  dairy  counties  in 
the  State  of  Massachusetts.  The  calculations  are  based  on 
census  figures  in  so  far  as  these  are  available.  The  estimated 
cost  of  maintenance  of  buildings,  implements  and  machinery, 
taxes,  and  miscellaneous  expenses  are  based  on  the  results 
of  farm-management  surveys  and  other  investigations  con- 
ducted by  the  Office  of  Farm  Management.  Unfortunately, 
certain  items  necessary  to  determine  accurately  the  labor 
income  are  missing.  For  this  reason  the  labor  income  re- 
ferred to  in  this  table  has  a  different  meaning  from  that 
referred  to  in  previous  tables.  In  this  table  the  labor  income 
represents  not  the  wages  of  the  farmer  but  the  wages  of  the 
whole  farm  family.  Furthermore,  in  the  previous  tables  the 
farm  family  has,  in  addition  to  the  labor  income  and  the 
interest  on  the  investment,  such  supplies  as  the  farm  fur- 
nishes toward  the  family  living,  while  in  the  table  under 
discussion  the  labor  income  includes  what  the  farm  furnishes 
toward  the  family  living,  except  the  milk  and  cream  consumed 
on  the  farm  where  it  is  produced,  the  last  census  having  made 
no  estimate  of  the  value  of  this  item.  In  addition,  a  good 
many  farm  families,  especially  in  Massachusetts,  earn  con- 
siderable amounts  by  outside  employment,  and  on  many 
farms  this  is  the  principal  source  of  income.  Unfortunately, 
also,  the  census  gives  no  information  as  to  the  amount  of 
money  spent  in  the  purchase  of  live  stock,  so  that  the  labor 
income  as  given  on  page  102  must  be  reduced  by  the  average 
amount  spent  annually  in  the  purchase  of  live  stock.  To 
sum  up,  the  labor  incomes,  together  with  the  interest  on  the 
investment,  which  make  up  the  farm  income,  require  the 
following  modification  in  order  to  represent  the  sum  available 
annually  for  the  family  living:  The  farm  income  should  be 
increased  by  the  amount  of  milk  and  cream  consumed  on 


Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

the  farm  where  it  is  produced  and  by  the  amount  earned  by 
the  farm  family  from  other  sources  than  the  farm,  including, 
of  course,  interest  on  investments  other  than  in  the  farm, 
and  it  should  be  reduced  by  the  amount  paid  for  live  stock 
bought.  The  figures  are  therefore  not  of  much  value  except 
as  a  comparison  between  different  regions,  for  the  same 
defects  inhere  in  the  estimates  for  the  two  regions. 

E;timate  of  the  average  labor  incomes  for  farms  in  a  leading  dairy  county  in 
Wisconsin  and  one  in  Massachusetts. 

Selected  county  in — 

Items  of  comparison. 



Number  of  farms 



Improved  land  per  farm r  ores 

Number  of  cows  per  farm 


Total  farm  investment 






Value  of  farm  buildings 

Value  of  implements  and  machinery 

Dairy  products,  per  cow 


Dairy  products  (exclusive  of  home-used  milk  and  cream)    . 








Poultry  products 

Domestic  animals  sold 

Domestic  animals  slaughtered 

Value  of  crops  not  fed 















Maintenance  of  buildings,  4.5  per  cent 

Maintenance  of  implements,  etc.,  20  per  cent. 


Taxes,  0.6  per  cent 

Total  (designated  expenses) 



Total  (all  expenses) 




Interest  on  investment,  5  per  cent 


1  Should  be  increased  by  the  value  of  home-used  milk  and  cream  and  receipts  from  outside 
sources.    Should  be  decreased  by  the  amount  paid  for  live  stock  purchased. 

Factors  of  Efficiency  in  Farming.  103 

It  is  seen  that  in  the  Wisconsin  county  the  average  labor  in- 
come, as  above  determined,  is  $558  per  annum  and  the  aver- 
age farm  income  is  $1,073  per  annum.  In  the  Massachusetts 
county  the  average  labor  income  is  minus  $67.  In  other 
words,  the  average  farm  income  is  $67  less  than  5  per  cent 
interest  on  the  average  investment  per  farm.  The  reasons  for 
this  difference  are  seen  in  the  data  given  in  the  table  on  page 
102.  In  the  first  place  the  western  farms  are  twice  as  large  as 
the  eastern  farms,  but  the  average  investment  in  farm  build- 
ings is  nearly  50  per  cent  larger  on  the  eastern  farms.  The 
investment  in  farm  machinery  is  also  considerably  larger  on 
the  small  farms  of  the  East.  In  the  matter  of  gross  income 
the  eastern  farms  have  distinctly  the  advantage.  Although 
the  average  number  of  cows  per  farm  in  the  Massachusetts 
county  is  less  than  half  of  what  it  is  in  the  Wisconsin  county 
and  the  income  per  cow  is  2J  times  as  much,  the  great  differ- 
ence in  expenses  in  the  two  counties  more  than  counterbal- 
ances this  increased  income.  The  Massachusetts  county  has 
on  the  average  a  higher  income  per  farm  from  dairy  products. 
It  also  has  a  50  per  cent  greater  income  from  crops.  The 
trouble  lies  in  the  higher  expense  of  farming  in  the  East. 
The  labor  bill  on  the  Massachusetts  farm  is  $527  annually, 
while  on  the  Wisconsin  farm  it  is  only  $146.  The  Massachu- 
setts farmer's  children  have  gone  to  the  city  and  he  must  hire 
his  labor;  the  Wisconsin  farmer's  family  does  most  of  the 
labor.  The  farmer  in  the  Massachusetts  county  spends  an 
average  of  $74  a  year  for  fertilizers,  the  one  in  Wisconsin 
about  $1  annually.  The  Massachusetts  farmer  buys  practi- 
cally all  of  his  concentrated  feed  and  perhaps  some  roughage; 
the  Wisconsin  farmer  raises  most  of  the  feed  on  his  own  farm, 
his  farm  being  large  enough  to  justify  this  course.  The  total 
expenses  of  the  average  farm  in  the  Massachusetts  county 
are  nearly  a  thousand  dollars  greater  than  in  the  Wisconsin 
county,  while  the  total  income  is  only  about  $200  greater. 

In  order  that  farming  in  this  Massachusetts  county  shall 
be  as  profitable  as  in  the  Wisconsin  county,  it  is  necessary,  on 
account  of  the  very  much  higher  expense  of  farming  in  the 
East  as  compared  with  the  West,  that  the  farm  business  be 
based  largely  on  enterprises  which  have  a  distinct  economic 
advantage  over  similar  enterprises  in  the  West.  It  is  not  yet 
possible  to  state  in  full  just  what  these  enterprises  are,  but 
some  illustrations  can  be  given.     The  production  of  hay  id 

104  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

the  New  England  States  is  less  than  sufficient  to  supply  the 
local  demand.  A  considerable  proportion  of  the  supply  must, 
therefore,  come  from  the  middle  West.  As  hay  is  a  cheap, 
bulky  product,  transportation  charges  on  this  commodity  are 
relatively  high.  This  gives  the  eastern  farmer  a  much  higher 
price  than  his  western  competitor.  Hay  production,  there- 
fore, appears  to  be  one  of  the  enterprises  which  possess  marked 
economic  advantages  in  New  England.  The  production  of 
vegetables  is  another  enterprise  which  enjoys  marked  eco- 
nomic advantages  when  conducted  in  the  immediate  vicinity 
of  the  consumer.  This,  then,  also  appears  to  be  an  enter- 
prise which  should  be  developed  in  New  England  to  as  full 
an  extent  as  economic  conditions  justify. 

Those  who  are  most  familiar  with  conditions  of  production 
and  marketing  in  New  England  are  of  the  opinion  that  the 
larger  cities  of  that  section  are  supplied  with  home-grown 
vegetable  products  during  the  summer  months  in  a  quantity 
approximately  equal  to  the  demand,  but  there  are  many 
smaller  towns  and  cities,  as  well  as  considerable  areas  of 
farming  community,  in  which  this  supply  is  inadequate. 
There  is  room,  therefore,  for  considerable  extension  of  vege- 
table farming  throughout  a  large  part  of  this  territory. 

It  is  undoubtedly  true  that  if  the  system  of  distribution  of 
perishable  farm  products  were  so  perfected  as  to  render  it 
possible  to  supply  all  communities  at  all  times  of  the  year 
with  perishable  farm  products  in  such  quantity  as  they  would 
use,  there  would  be  a  very  considerable  increase  in  the  con- 
sumption of  this  class  of  farm  produce.  In  view  of  the  com- 
petition with  the  Middle  West,  where  the  production  of  ordi- 
nary farm  crops  and  live  stock  is  much  less  expensive  than 
in  New  England,  such  organization  for  the  distribution  of 
perishable  farm  produce  is  of  prime  importance  in  this  region 
as  a  means  of  increasing  the  possibilities  of  production  of  a 
class  of  products  to  which  the  region  is  eminently  adapted 
and  for  which  it  possesses  important  economic  advantages 
in  nearness  to  the  consumer  and  in  the  fresh  condition  in 
which  products  of  this  class  could  be  laid  before  the  consumer. 

Fruit  growing  appears  to  be  another  industry  which  might 
well  be  developed  to  much  larger  proportions  in  New  Eng- 
land. Not  all  of  the  region  is  adapted  to  this  industry,  but 
there  are  localities  here  and  there  which  can  produce  various 
kinds  of  fruits  to  advantage.     On  account  of  the  nearness  to 

Factors  of  Efficiency  in  Farming.  105 

market  and  the  considerable  expense  of  shipping  fruit  long 
distances,  the  New  England  producer,  having  an  unlimited 
market  near  at  hand,  ought  to  be  able  to  make  a  profit  from 
this  industry. 

In  the  case  of  dairy  products,  prices  are  based  quite  gener- 
ally on  the  butter  value  of  milk.  Because  butter  can  be 
shipped  at  very  small  cost  from  the  middle  West  to  eastern 
cities,  the  prices  of  dairy  products  in  the  East  and  West  are 
not  greatly  different;  but  the  cost  of  production,  as  we  have 
seen,  differs  very  materially.  If  the  dairy  industry  is  to  sur- 
vive in  New  England  it  is  therefore  necessary  that  it  should 
be  confined  to  those  phases  of  dairying  in  which  the  price  of 
the  product  is  not  necessarily  based  on  the  butter  value  of  the 
milk.  Not  only  that,  but  dealers  and  the  public  generally 
must  recognize  the  necessity  for  paying  higher  prices  for  milk 
in  eastern  cities.  The  fact  that  dairy  cows  give  some  occupa- 
tion during  the  long  winter  season  in  New  England  is  a  miti- 
gating circumstance  and  is  one  of  the  reasons  why  dairying 
persists  under  such  disadvantageous  conditions.  Even  if 
the  farmer  does  not  earn  ordinary  wages  for  the  work  he  does 
in  his  dairy  in  the  winter,  it  is  frequently  the  case  that  the 
time  thus  employed  would  otherwise  be  largely  wasted,  so 
that  any  profit  he  makes  over  the  actual  expenditures  in  con- 
ducting this  business  is  so  much  added  to  the  annual  income. 
The  fact  remains,  however,  that  economic  conditions  in  New 
England  are  unfavorable  to  the  dairy  industry.  Many  other 
illustrations  could  be  given  of  economic  advantages  enjoyed 
by  certain  enterprises  in  particular  localities,  but  this  is  suf- 
ficient to  show  the  importance  of  the  subject. 


The  quality  of  the  business  of  the  farm  is  indicated  by  the 
yield  per  acre,  income  per  cow,  etc.  In  the  Chemung 
County,  N.  Y.,  survey  12  farms  having  cows  two-thirds  as 
good  as  the  average  gave  a  labor  income  of  $255;  12  farms 
having  average  cows  produced  an  average  labor  income  of 
$484;  and  14  farms  having  cows  1J  times  as  good  as  the 
average  produced  a  labor  income  of  $1,175.  The  quality  of 
the  cows  kept  is  therefore  a  very  important  factor  in  the 
profit.  It  is  more  important  than  the  yield  of  crops,  for  the 
following  reasons:  (1)  If  the  cows  are  not  profitable,  no  mat- 
ter how  large  the  yield  of  crops  on  dairy  farms,  the  labor 

106  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

income  must  be  small,  or  even  a  minus  quantity;  and  (2)  a 
large  income  per  cow  may  be  obtained  by  having  good  cows, 
while  it  can  not  be  obtained  by  the  better  feeding  and  care 
of  cows  incapable  of  high  production.  Thus,  if  the  cows  are 
poor,  greatly  increased  expense  for  feed  and  care  will  not 
give  a  corresponding  increase  in  profit',  but  if  the  cows  are 
naturally  good  the  profits  will  be  greater  with  average  feed- 
ing and  care  than  if  the  cows  are  naturally  poor. 

In  the  same  survey  22  farms  having  crop  yields  of  two- 
thirds  of  the  average  gave  an  average  labor  income  of  $364; 
17  farms  with  average  yields  gave  a  labor  income  of  $712; 
while  24  farms  having  yields  1£  times  the  average  gave  a 
labor  income  of  only  $653.  Up  to  a  certain  point  the  labor 
income  increases  even  more  rapidly  than  the  yield,  but  be- 
yond that  point  it  decreases.  While  the  farmer  can  change 
poor  cows  for  good  ones,  and  thus  increase  his  profits,  he  can 
not  in  general  change  a  poor  acre  for  a  good  one.  In  order 
to  secure  increased  yields,  therefore,  he  must  increase  the 
labor  and  manure  applied  per  acre.  This  will  increase 
profits  within  certain  limits,  but  beyond  that  increased  ex- 
pense will  not  be  rewarded  by  a  corresponding  increase  in 
yields.  The  yield  of  crops  therefore  is  a  less  important  fac- 
tor in  determining  profit  in  farming  than  is  the  character 
of  the  cows  kept.  This  is  further  illustrated  in  the  Michigan 
survey  mentioned.  Of  295  farms  conducted  by  their  own- 
ers, 156  yielded  below  the  average  and  produced  an  average 
labor  income  of  $304,  and  139  produced  yields  above  the 
average,  with  a  labor  income  of  $675.  But  the  30  farms 
which  produced  the  highest  yields  had  labor  incomes  of 
only  $660.  Again,  in  this  same  survey,  42  farms  having  a 
labor  income  of  over  $1,000  had  yields  12.6  per  cent  above 
the  average  of  the  whole  group  of  farms,  but  of  these  the  30 
having  the  highest  labor  income  produced  yields  only  10  per 
cent  above  the  average  of  the  whole  group. 


In  the  Chemung  County  survey  the  four  factors  con- 
sidered were  (1)  days  of  productive  labor,  (2)  diversity  of 
enterprises,  (3)  receipts  per  cow,  and  (4)  yield  per  acre. 
Thirty  farms  having  none  or  only  one  of  these  factors  as 
good  or  better  than  the  average  produced  a  labor  income  of 

Factors  of  Efficiency  in  Farming.  107 

$243;  11  farms  having  two  factors  as  good  or  better  than 
the  average  had  labor  incomes  of  $542;  11  farms  with  three 
factors  as  good  or  better  than  the  average  had  labor  incomes 
of  $818;  and  11  farms  having  all  four  factors  as  good  or 
better  than  the  average  had  an  average  labor  income  of 
$1,230.  Thus,  when  several  of  the  factors  of  efficiency  are 
present  the  labor  income  mounts  rapidly. 

In  this  article  no  attempt  has  been  made  to  deal  with  all 
the  possible  factors  that  affect  the  labor  income,  attention 
having  been  confined  mainly  to  a  few  of  those  for  which  data 
are  available.  The  Office  of  Farm  Management  is  attempt- 
ing to  evaluate  all  of  these  factors,  and  it  is  hoped  that  the 
results  of  its  investigations  will  ultimately  give  a  much 
better  understanding  of  the  problems  relating  to  the  farmer's 



We  have  thus  seen  that  the  following  are  factors  of  effi- 
ciency in  farming: 

The  magnitude  of  the  business,  whether  measured  by  area 
of  land  farmed,  amount  of  working  capital  employed,  or  the 
number  of  days  of  productive  labor  provided. 

Organization,  which  determines  the  degree  of  diversity  of 
enterprises  on  the  farm  which  may  be  made  to  provide  full 
occupation  to  the  available  labor  and  equipment  while  avoid- 
ing the  necessity  of  hiring  large  amounts  of  extra  labor.    , 

System  of  management:  It  is  shown  tbat  neighboring 
farmers,  with  similar  types  of  farming,  devote  very  different 
amounts  of  time  to  the  various  classes  of  enterprises  on 
their  farms  because  of  the  lack  of  standard  systems  of  man- 
agement of  these  enterprises,  and  it  is  not  always  the  man 
who  devotes  the  most  time  to  an  enterprise  who  makes  the 
largest  profits  from  it.  Lack  of  system  means  lost  motion 
and  useless  work. 

Adaptability  of  enterprises:  In  order  that  the  farm  may  be 
profitable  the  crops  and  live  stock  maintained  upon  it  must 
be  adapted  not  only  to  local  conditions  of  soil  and  climate 
but  also  to  existing  economic  conditions. 

Quality  of  the  business:  The  income  per  animal  unit  is  a 
very  important  factor  in  profit.  Yield  per  acre  is  also  im- 
portant, but  less  so  than  the  income  per  animal  unit.  Mod- 
erate yields  may  be  more  profitable  than  very  high  yields. 

108  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

On  a  farm  which  combines  a  large  number  of  these  factors 
of  efficiency,  profits  are  greater  than  on  those  which  are  effi- 
cient in  fewer  things. 

Many  other  factors  of  efficiency  exist,  but  they  are  not  here 
dealt  with  for  lack  of  sufficient  data. 


In  the  last  analysis  the  farmer  himself  is  the  determining 
factor  in  every  successful  agricultural  enterprise.  It  must 
not  be  overlooked  that  the  farmer  is  just  as  quick  to  take 
advantage  of  economic  principles  as  he  is  of  improved 
methods  of  growing  crops  and  feeding  animals.  In  fact, 
the  farmer's  experience  and  training  have  been  fully  as 
great  in  applied  economics  as  in  agronomy  and  animal 
husbandry.  He  will  as  quickly  see  the  advantages  of  good 
farm  organization  when  these  are  pointed  out  to  him  as  he 
will  those  of  improved  methods  of  seed  selection,  tillage,  or 

Experience  has  shown  that  the  problems  of  farm  organiza- 
tion are  usually  those  of  readjustment  and  improvement  of 
existing  systems  rather  than  the  introduction  of  wholly  new 
systems.  In  most  cases  it  is  found  that  a  redistribution  of 
activities  or  an  improvement  in  methods,  which  can  be 
effected  by  the  farmer  himself  as  soon  as  they  are  brought 
to  his  attention,  will  result  in  providing  a  system  of  operation 
and  an  equipment  adequate  to  give  maximum  results  and 
a  minimum  expenditure  both  of  money  and  of  effort. 


By  William  A.  Taylor,  Chief  of  Bureau,  and  H.  P.  Gould,  Pomologist  in 
Charge  of  Fruit-Production  Investigations,  Bureau  of  Plant  Industry. 


THE  conditions  under  which  fruit  is  grown  and  marketed 
are  slowly  though  constantly  changing.  Standards  of 
excellence  in  different  particulars  are  being  raised.  Con- 
sumers are  gradually  acquiring  a  better  knowledge  of  what 
constitutes  good  fruit.  Too  many  varieties  are  poor  in  some 
particular,  though  perhaps  possessing  much  merit  in  all  other 
important  respects.  Practically  no  varieties  are  altogether 

A  variety  may  be  productive,  an  excellent  shipping  fruit, 
and  attractive  in  appearance,  but  poor  in  flavor;  another 
may  have  every  desirable  quality  except  productiveness;  or 
a  variety  well-nigh  perfect  in  other  respects  is  very  suscepti- 
ble to  some  disease  difficult  to  control.  But  there  is  no  inher- 
ent incompatibility  in  the  various  characteristics  of  fruits  to 
prevent  the  existence  of  the  ideally  perfect  variety  for  a  partic- 
ular purpose — the  one  without  fault  for  its  season  of  ripening. 

Consciously  or  otherwise,  the  search  for  the  ideal  in  fruit 
varieties  goes  on.  Each  year  sees  new  varieties  brought  to 
light  and  introduced  to  the  trade.  A  few  of  these  persist 
and  in  time  become  important  in  the  fruit  industry,  but  the 
great  majority  are  never  widely  known,  because  in  reality 
they  do  not  meet  any  special  need.  A  new  variety  in  order 
to  attain  enduring  importance  in  the  fruit  industry  must 
represent  a  high  standard  of  excellence  in  all  particulars,  and 
in  at  least  one  particular  it  must  surpass  in  some  region  or 
regions  other  sorts  already  in  cultivation.  And  as  a  rule 
its  merits  must  even  then  be  persistently  and  extensively 
advertised;  else  its  dissemination  will  be  very  slow. 

It  is  exceedingly  difficult  for  a  new  variety,  even  of  the 
highest  merit,  to  crowd  out  a  mediocre  variety  that  has  been 
extensively  planted  by  many  fruit  growers.  For  this  reason 
a  variety  may  be  old,  as  measured  by  the  age  of  a  man, 
before  it  becomes  generally  known.  The  Stayman  Winesap 
apple,  for  instance,  originated  nearly  half  a  century  ago, 


110  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

and  for  many  years  it  lias  been  known  in  several  sections 
among  fruit  growers,  but  it  is  only  during  the  last  12  or  15 
years  that  its  real  value  has  become  widely  appreciated. 

The  fruits  to  which  attention  is  directed  in  this  paper  are 
varieties  which,  though  admittedly  falling  short  of  perfection, 
are  believed  to  possess  valuable  characteristics  which  render 
them  worthy  of  the  attention  of  fruit  growers  in  the  districts 
to  which  by  experience  they  may  be  found  to  be  adapted. 

It  should  be  stated  that  the  Department  of  Agriculture 
has  no  stock  of  these  varieties  for  distribution. 


Synonyms:  Flory,  Flory  Banana,  Winter  Banana. 

[Plate  VII.] 


About  the  year  1873  or  1874  the  late  David  Flory,  sr., 
planted  at  his  homestead,  which  was  located  5  miles  east  of 
Logansport  and  1  mile  south  of  Adamsboro,  Cass  County, 
Ind.,  50  apple  trees  which  he  had  grown  from  seed  for  the 
purpose  of  having  a  few  stocks  on  which  to  graft  desirable 
varieties.  The  next  year,  when  grafting  the  trees,  he  noticed 
that  one  of  them  showed  a  marked  difference  from  the 
others  in  the  fine,  thrifty  growth  it  had  made.  Mr.  Flory 
was  impressed  with  its  promising  appearance  and  decided 
to  retain  it  until  it  should  bear  fruit.1  Accordingly  the  tree 
was  left  ungrafted.  It  came  into  bearing  quite  young,  pro- 
ducing fruit  which  was  so  pleasing  to  its  owner  that  he 
named  the  apple,  calling  it  "Flory  Banana." 

In  1890  this  variety  was  introduced  to  the  trade  by  the 
Greening  Nursery  Co.  under  the  name  "Winter  Banana."2 
This  name  is  reduced  to  Banana  to  bring  it  into  harmony 
with  the  code  of  nomenclature  of  the  American  Pomological 
Society.  The  original  tree  is  still  standing  and  in  fair  con- 
dition; the  branches  on  one  side  are  reported  to  show  some 
decay  as  a  result  of  injudicious  pruning.  It  bore  a  good 
crop  of  apples  in  1913.1 


Form  roundish,  to  roundish  conic,  slightly  angular,  sometimes  slightly 
oblate;  size  large;  cavity  regular,  rather  large,  moderately  deep,  slope 
gradual,  sometimes  slightly  russeted;  stem  medium  in  size  and  length; 

1  Letter  from  D.  M.  Flory,  November,  1913. 

*  Letter  from  the  Greening  Nursery  Co.,  November,  1913. 

Promising  New  Fruits.  Ill 

basin  regular,  medium  in  size,  variable  in  depth,  from  shallow  to  deep, 
depending  upon  the  region  where  grown,  slope  gradual,  slightly  furrowed; 
calyx  segments  medium,  converging;  eye  large,  open  or  partially  closed; 
surface  smooth  with  a  rather  waxen  appearance;  color  greenieh  yellow  with 
blush  of  light  red,  deepening  to  rose  on  exposed  side,  sometimes  covering 
a  considerable  portion  of  the  surface;  dots  on  surface  few,  irregular,  medium 
in  size,  color  brownish,  but  many  whitish  dots  rather  large  in  size  showing 
indistinctly  beneath  the  surface  of  the  skin;  skin  medium  thick,  tenacious, 
bloom  very  slight,  bluish;  flesh  yellowish;  texture  medium  fine,  tender, 
breaking,  moderately  juicy;  core  conical,  clasping,  large,  open;  seeds  plump, 
large,  brown,  numerous;  flavor  mild  subacid,  slightly  aromatic;  quality 
good  to  very  good;  season  winter. 

The  tree  grows  well  in  both  the  nursery  and  the  orchard; 
comes  into  bearing  quite  young;  is  prolific  under  reasonably 
favorable  conditions,  and  hardy — according  to  the  orig- 
inator enduring  winter  conditions  in  1885  which  destroyed 
most  other  varieties.1 

Since  its  introduction  this  variety  has  been  quite  widely 
disseminated,  especially  in  Ohio,  in  Indiana,  in  Michigan, 
and  to  a  limited  extent  in  Iowa.  It  has  been  planted  rather 
extensively  in  some  of  the  apple  districts  of  the  Pacific 
Northwest.  As  a  commercial  variety  it  appears  to  be 
growing  in  popularity  in  the  northern  and  northwestern 
apple  districts. 

The  specimen  illustrated  in  Plate  VII  was  grown  in  1913 
by  Mr.  C.  H.  Whittum,  Eaton  Rapids,  Eaton  County,  Mich. 


[Plate  VIII.] 


The  McCroskey  apple  originated  from  seed  of  either  a 
Winesap  or  a  Limbertwig  apple  which  was  planted  about 
25  years  ago  by  the  late  H.  M.  McCroskey  at  his  place  near 
Glenloch,  about  6  miles  east  of  Sweetwater,  Monroe  County, 
Tenn.  The  exact  year  is  uncertain,  but  the  tree  bore  its 
first  crop  of  fruit  in  1895.2 

The  name  "McCroskey,"  in  honor  of  the  originator,  was 
suggested  early  in  1896  by  Prof.  R.  L.  Watts,  then  horti- 
culturist of  the  Tennessee  Agricultural  Experiment  Station,3 
and  under  that  name  the  variety  was  described  and  illustrated 

•  Letter  from  the  Greening  Nursery  Co.,  November,  1913. 
3  Letter  from  H.  M.  McCroskey,  July,  1898. 
3  Letter  from  Prof.  Watts,  February,  1896. 

112  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

by  him.1  From  the  resemblance  of  the  fruit  to  the  Winesap 
apple,  it  seems  probable  that  it  is  a  seedling  of  that  well- 
known  sort  rather  than  of  Limbertwig — a  possibility  sug- 
gested by  Mr.  McCroskey,  as  above  stated.  Prof.  Watts 
regarded  it  as  the  most  valuable  new  seedling  winter  apple 
of  Tennessee  origin  that  had  been  brought  to  his  attention, 
its  main  points  of  merit  being  "productiveness,  vigor  in 
growth,  symmetry  and  beauty  of  fruit,  and  good  quality." l 

According  to  the  originator,  the  fruit  of  this  variety  that  fell 
from  the  tree  kept  better  than  Winesap,  Bon  Davis,  or  Lim- 
bertwig apples  that  were  hand  picked.3  Prof.  Watts  reports 
the  receipt  of  well-preserved  specimens  as  late  as  May  1. 


Form  conical;  size  medium;  cavity  regular,  medium  in  size  and  depth, 
slope  abrupt,  'with,  small  russeted  area  about  stem;  stem  about  one-half 
inch  in  length,  slender;  basin  regular,  medium  in  size  and  depth,  slope 
rather  abrupt,  slightly  furrowed  in  some  specimens,  with  slight  leather 
cracking  about  apex;  calyx  lobes  medium  in  size,  reflexed;  eye  closed  or 
slightly  open;  surface  smooth;  color  greenish  yellow,  entirely  overspread  in 
well-colored  specimens  with  rather  dark  red  and  indistinctly  marked  with 
darker  stripes;  dots  small,  rather  numerous,  not  conspicuous,  yellowish 
white  in  color;  skin  moderately  tough  and  tenacious;  flesh  yellowish;  tex- 
ture moderately  fine  grained,  fairly  juicy;  core  conic,  clasping,  small  to 
medium  in  size,  open;  calyx  tube  small,  funnel  form,  open  nearly  to  core; 
seeds  medium  size,  plump,  reddish  brown,  6  to  8  in  number,  rarely  more; 
flavor  subacid,  rather  rich,  pleasant,  very  good:  season  winter. 

This  apple  has  not  been  widely  disseminated,  but  to  the 
extent  to  which  it  has  been  grown  in  Tennessee  it  appears 
to  be  a  very  promising  sort. 

It  is  interesting  to  note  in  the  present  connection  that 
there  are  a  number  of  seedlings  of  the  Winesap  apple  which 
have  assumed  considerable  commercial  importance.  The 
most  prominent  one  which  is  an  authentic  seedling  of  this 
variety  is  Stayman  Winesap.4  Magnate 5  is  valuable  in  some 
sections.  Arkansas,  Paragon,  Arkansas  Black,  and  Kinnard 
are  other  varieties  disclosing  evidence  of  Winesap  parentage 

'  Apples  of  Tennessee  Origin,  Tennessee  Agricultural  Experiment  Station  Bulletin;  vol.  9, 
No.  1  (May,  1896),  p.  18. 

*  Tennessee  Experiment  Station  Bulletin,  vol.  9,  No.  1,  p.  19. 
'  Letter  from  Mr.  McCroskey,  July,  1898. 

*  For  illustration  and  description,  see  Yearbook  U.  S.  Department  of  Agriculture  for  1902, 
p.  470. 

i  For  illustration  and  description,  see  Yearbook  U.  S.  Department  of  Agriculture  for  1906, 
p.  355. 

Yearbook   U.S   Dept   of  Agricultu'e.    1913 

Plate  VII. 

Banana  Apple 

Yearbook   U.  S.  Dept   of  Agriculture.    1913 

Plate  VIII. 

M9  Croskey  Apple 

rlE    S»CBftr 

Yearbook   U.  S.  Dept.  of  Agriculture    1913 

Plate  IX. 

T   C 

Opalescent  Apple 

The  S»C«'i0  wiLHCINS  CO   r 

Yearbook  U.  S.  Dept   of  Agriculture.   1913 

Plate   X. 


Lizzie  Peach 

TxesACHETTawii.Hei.Msco  n  • 

Promising  New  Fruits.  113 

each  of  which  has  gained  considerable  prominence  in  some 
districts.  Moreover,  several  unnamed  apples  of  evident  value 
reported  to  be  seedlings  of  the  Winesap  and  which  resemble 
it  in  many  respects  have  been  called  to  the  attention  of  this 
department.  It  therefore  seems  probable  that  a  rather  high 
percentage  of  Winesap  seedlings  possess  more  than  the  ordi- 
nary merit.  The  usefulness  of  that  variety  for  breeding  pur- 
poses is  thus  indicated. 

The  specimen  of  McCroskey  apple  illustrated  in  Plate  VIII 
was  grown  in  1912  by  Mr.  L.  C.  H.  Ayres,  of  Midway,  Green 
County,  Tenn. 


Synonyms:  Hudson's  Pride  of  Michigan,  Hastings. 

[Plate  IX.] 


The  Opalescent  apple  originated  with  Mr.  George  M. 
Hudson,  Shultz,  Barry  County,  Mich.  The  circumstances 
of  its  origin  as  given  by  him  are  as  follows: 1 

A  number  of  years  ago  I  was  digging  out  the  oak  stumps  in  my  orchard 
and  found  a  thick  cluster  of  sprouts  by  the  side  of  one.  I  picked  out  the 
best  sprout  and  set  it  out,  intending  to  top-graft  it,  but  you  will  see  the 

At  the  same  time,  specimens  of  the  fruit  were  submitted 
to  the  department  by  the  originator  under  the  name  "Hud- 
son's Pride  of  Michigan,"  with  the  request  that  a  suitable 
name  be  given  to  the  variety.  Accordingly  "Hastings," 
the  township  in  which  the  variety  originated,  was  suggested 
as  an  appropriate  name.  In  due  course  this  was  approved 
by  Mr.  Hudson,  and  the  name  was  published  by  the  Ameri- 
can Pomological  Society.2  But  prior  to  such  publication, 
this  variety  had  been  disseminated  by  the  Dayton  Star 
Nurseries,3  of  Dayton,  Ohio,  under  the  name  "Opalescent."4 
The  original  tree  was  still  standing  and  in  fairly  good  condi- 
tion in  1912.6 

i  Letter  from  Mr.  Hudson,  December,  1896. 

'  Proceedings,  25th  session,  American  Pomological  Society,  1897,  p.  38,  1898. 

» Letter  from  J.  W.  McNary,  receiver,  Dayton  Star  Nurseries,  February,  1899. 

t  Historical  and  descriptive  notes  concerning  this  variety  have  been  published  compara- 
tively recently  as  follows:  Varieties  of  fruit  originated  in  Michigan,  Michigan  Agricultural 
Experiment  Station,  Special  Bulletin  44,  p.  18;  New  or  noteworthy  fruits,  New  York  Agri- 
cultural Experiment  Station,  Bulletin  364,  p.  181. 

6  Letter  from  George  W.  Thomas,  December,  1913. 
27306°— ybk  1913 8 

114  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 


Form  roundish;  size  large;  cavity  regular,  large,  deep,  slope  gradual  with 
russet  markings;  stem  moderately  long,  slender;  basin  regular,  size  and 
depth  medium,  slope  abrupt,  slightly  furrowed  in  some  specimens,  some- 
times slightly  russeted  and  leather  cracked ;  calyx  segments  small  to  medium, 
converging;  eye  medium,  open  or  partially  open;  surface  smooth;  color 
yellow,  washed  over  nearly  entire  surface  with  mixed  red  and  indistinct 
stripes  and  splashes  of  dark  crimson,  sometimes  an  overspread  of  gray; 
dots  rather  conspicuous,  yellowish,  many  indented;  skin  medium  thick, 
tenacious,  light  bluish  bloom;  flesh  yellowish,  sometimes  slightly  tinged 
with  red  near  the  skin;  texture  medium  coarse,  tender,  moderately  juicy; 
core  roundish  or  roundish  conic,  clasping,  size  medium,  open;  seeds  plump, 
medium  in  size,  brown,  numerous;  flavor  mild  subacid;  quality  good  to 
very  good;  season  late  fall  and  early  winter. 

The  tree  has  been  reported  to  be  somewhat  subject  to 
blight,  but  otherwise  to  be  healthy  and  vigorous. 

The  Opalescent  apple  is  not  extensively  grown  at  the 
present  time,  but  it  has  been  quite  widely  disseminated  in 
the  northern  apple  districts  since  it  was  introduced  12  or  13 
years  ago.  Because  of  its  attractive  appearance  and  fairly 
good  quality,  together  with  other  desirable  characteristics, 
it  is  worthy  of  being  thoroughly  tested  for  a  late  fall  and 
early  winter  apple  generally  in  the  northern  apple  regions. 

The  specimen  illustrated  in  Plate  IX  was  grown  in  1913 

by  the  New  York  Experiment  Station,   Geneva,   Ontario 

County,  N.  Y. 


[Plate  X.) 

The  history  of  the  Lizzie  peach  is  identical  with  that  of  sev- 
eral promising  varieties  that  have  been  developed  in  recent 
years  with  a  view  to  meeting  a  distinct  need  and  as  the  result 
of  a  well-directed  personal  effort  toward  a  particular  end. 

The  Carman x  peach,  probably  a  chance  cross  of  the 
Elberta  and  Family  Favorite,  originated  from  a  seed,  of 
the  former  variety  that  was  planted  in  1889  by  Mr.  J.  W. 
Stubenrauch  of  Mexia,  Limestone  County,  Tex.  The  Car- 
man was  the  forerunner  of  a  considerable  number  of  varie- 
ties that  Mr.  Stubenrauch  has  originated  since  that  variety 
appeared.  From  the  first  fruiting  of  the  Carman  in  1892, 
it  gave  promise  of  unusual  value.     This  early  promise  has 

i  For  illustration  and  description,  see  Yearbook  TJ.  S.  Department  of  Agriculture  for  1001, 
p. 385. 

Promising  New  Fruits.  115 

been  fulfilled  in   a  marked  degree   as   the  years  since  its 
introduction  have  passed. 

As  Mr.  Stubenrauch  observed  the  behavior  of  the  Car- 
man, he  began  to  consider  means  whereby  nature  could  be 
assisted  in  producing  other  varieties  that  would  be  better 
for  his  region.  He  had  previously  planted  quite  heavily  of 
the  Elberta  peach.  Among  the  trees  of  this  variety  he  had 
observed  that  a  particular  one  was  remarkable  in  comparison 
with  the  others  because  of  its  more  thrifty  growth,  its 
greater  productiveness,  and  the,  superior  quality  of  the 
fruit.  Having  a  block  of  the  Mamie  Ross  peach  which  was 
isolated  from  other  varieties,  some  of  the  best  trees  of  it 
were  partially  "budded  over"  with  buds  taken  from  the 
Elberta  tree  just  referred  to.  In  the  same  manner,  selected 
trees  of  the  Bell  October  peach — a  fine,  late,  yellow  free- 
stone variety  of  high  quality,  ripening  with  the  Salway — 
were  top-worked  with  buds  of  the  same  Elberta  tree  that 
was  used  in  budding  the  Mamie  Ross  trees. 

As  the  Elberta  buds  top-worked  into  the  Mamie  Ross  and 
Bell  October  trees  grew  and  came  into  fruiting,  the  plan 
followed  was  to  select  the  best  specimens  of  fruit  on  the 
Elberta  limbs  as  they  ripened  and  to  save  the  seeds  from  them, 
care  being  taken  to  keep  those  from  the  Mamie  Ross  trees 
separate  from  those  borne  on  the  Bell  October  trees.  These 
were  planted  the  following  winter,  which  was  that  of  1901-2. 
The  trees  which  came  from  these  seeds  made  an  excellent 
growth  the  next  season  and  were  transplanted  from  the 
nursery  into  orchard  rows. 

All  of  these  trees  which  did  not  begin  bearing  earlier  came 
into  fruiting  the  third  and  fourth  years  from  the  planting  of 
the  seeds.  They  were  systematically  studied  by  Mr.  Stu- 
benrauch, and  at  the  end  of  the  fifth  season  a  considerable  _ 
number  were  discarded  and  dug  up,  as  they  gave  no  promise 
of  value.  Selections  continued  to  be  made  for  several  years, 
or  until  it  became  possible  to  choose  from  the  collection  a 
series  of  varieties  of  merit  that  produce  fruit  continually  in 
the  region  of  their  origin  from  about  July  15  to  October  1,  or 
a  period  of  approximately  two  and  one-half  months. 

The  varieties  which  constitute  this  series  have  a  firm  flesh 
and  stand  shipping  remarkably  well.  One  of  the  aims  of 
the  originator  has  been  to  secure  varieties  that  could  be 
shipped  successfully  for  a  distance  of  150  to  200  miles  by  fast 

116  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

freight  or  express  without,  the  use  of  ice,  thus  making  it 
possible  readily  to  supply  the  smaller  markets  located  com- 
paratively near  points  of  production,  which  are  frequently 
without  peaches,  while  the  larger  and  more  central  markets 
are  often  glutted.  Moreover,  the  most  of  these  varieties 
appear  to  be  especially  hardy  while  in  blossom.  They  are 
reported  to  have  borne  a  good  crop  of  fruit  in  a  number  of 
seasons  when  several  degrees  of  frost  occurred  during  the 
blossoming  period  and  completely  destroyed  the  blossoms  of 
most  of  the  standard  sorts.  In  general,  the  trees  are  thrifty. 
The  fruit  is  as  large  as  or  larger  than  the  Elberta  when  grown 
under  the  same  conditions  and  of  good  dessert  quality  in 
favorable  seasons.  Names  have  been  given  during  the  last 
two  or  three  years  to  the  more  important  selections  made  by 
Mr.  Stubenrauch.  These  include  the  Lizzie,  which  has  been 
chosen  from  among  this  collection  of  varieties  for  illustration 
and  description  in  the  present  connection.  It  originated 
from  one  of  the  seeds  selected  from  an  Elberta  limb  on  a  Bell 
October  tree,  and  accordingly  it  may  be  a  natural  cross 
between  these  varieties.  Its  characteristics  give  considerable 
weight  to  this  supposition.1 


Form  globular  to  obovate,  sides  sometimes  unequal;  size  medium  to  large; 
cavity  regular,  medium,  rather  deep,  slope  abrupt;  suture  shallow  except 
at  cavity,  extending  beyond  the  apex;  apex  a  small  tip;  surface  slightly 
irregular;  color  rich  yellow  with  light  reddish  blush  tending  to  stripe  on 
exposed  side;  down  very  short  and  sparse;  skin  moderately  thick  and 
tough;  flesh  rich  yellow,  red  at  pit;  texture  firm,  meaty,  moderately  juicy; 
stone  broad,  obovate,  pointed  at  tip,  free,  large;  flavor  rich,  vinous,  nearly 
sweet;  quality  good  to  very  good;  season  latter  part  of  August  or  about  two 
weeks  after  Elberta  at  place  of  origin. 

The  tree  makes  a  good,  thrifty  growth  and  is  reported  to 
be  intermediate  in  habit  between  the  Elberta  and  the  Bell 
October.  It  is  productive,  usually  requiring  heavy  thinning 
in  favorable  seasons.  The  leaf  glands  are  slightly  reniform, 
many  nearly  globose.  The  fruit  is  reported  to  be  quite  highly 
resistant  to  brown-rot.  The  variety  is  considered  worthy  of 
being  extensively  tested,  especially  in  the  peach-growing  dis- 
tricts of  the  Southern  and  Southwestern  States. 

The  specimen  shown  in  Plate  X  was  grown  in  1913  by  Mr. 
J.  W.  Stubenrauch,  of  Mexia,  Limestone  County,  Tex 

1  Information  supplied  by  Mr.  Stubenrauch  in  various  communications  to  this  department. 

Promising  New  Fruits.  117 

[Plate  XI.] 

That  the  fruit  industry  of  the  United  States  has  been  built 
up  largely  with  fruits  which  represent  introduced  species  is  a 
fact  which  presents  itself  at  times  with  almost  startling  force 
and  significance.  This,  however,  is  less  true  of  grapes  than 
of  the  other  important  fruits. 

While  the  Vinifera  grape  industry  represents  an  invest- 
ment of  many  millions  of  dollars,  the  cultivation  of  this  class 
of  grapes  is  largely  restricted  to  the  territory  west  of  the 
Rocky  Mountains,  including  California.  The  grapes  which 
are  extensively  grown  elsewhere  throughout  the  country, 
with  few  exceptions,  belong  to  native  species  of  Vitis.  The 
Muscadine  grapes,  which  include  the  native  species  Vitis 
rotundifolia  and  Vitis  munsoniana,  are  becoming  increas- 
ingly important  in  the  South  Atlantic  and  Gulf  Coast  States. 

In  view  of  the  present  interest  in  the  culture  of  these  grapes 
in  many  parts  of  the  region  to  which  they  are  adapted,  and 
the  systematic  attention  that  is  now  being  given  to  the  inves- 
tigation of  them  and  the  breeding  of  more  desirable  varie- 
ties, it  may  be  expected  that  the  culture  of  these  grapes  will 
eventually  contribute  very  materially  to  the  horticultural 
development  of  the  South. 

Unlike  most  other  fruits,  the  Muscadine  grape  has  thus 
far  developed  but  few  important  varieties;  in  fact,  a  single 
variety,  the  Scuppernong,  is  of  such  great  importance  in 
comparison  with  the  others  that  it  might  almost  be  referred  to 
as  constituting  the  commercial  Muscadine  industry.  There 
are,  however,  at  least  six  varieties  of  considerable  importance, 
with  a  still  larger  number  that  have  been  named  and  more 
or  less  disseminated,  but  which  thus  far  are  chiefly  of  local 

The  two  varieties  shown  in  Plate  XI  are  among  the  six 
most  important  sorts. 


The  original  vine  of  the  Flowers  grape  was  discovered  in 
1819  by  "Popping  Billy"  Flowers,  growing  in  a  swamp  15 
miles  south  of  Lumberton,  Robeson  County,  N.  C,  and  was 

i  History  and  description  condensed  from  notes  published  by  George  0.  Husmann  and 
Charles  Dearing,  The  Muscadine  Grapes,  Bureau  of  Plant  Industry,  Bulletin  No.  273. 

118  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

transplanted  by  him  to  a  location  a  few  hundred  yards  dis- 
tant. It  has  since  been  grown  quite  extensively  for  home 
use  in  the  region  of  its  origin.  It  is  the  oldest  named  black 
variety  of  Vitis  rotundifolia.  in  cultivation. 


Cluster  nearly  round,  fairly  compact;  large  for  the  species,  composed 
generally  of  6  to  10  berries;  berries  slightly  oval,  medium  size,  purplish 
black,  dots  only  faintly  visible;  skin  very  thick  and  tough;  flesh  whitish, 
meaty,  tough,  not  very  juicy;  seeds  usually  3  to  4,  more  angular  than  other 
varieties  and  adhering  tenaciously  to  the  pulp;  flavor  sweetish,  lacking  in 
sprightliness;  quality  medium;  season  late,  from  about  October  15  until 
destroyed  by  frost. 

The  vine  has  an  upright,  slender  growth  and  is  more  open 
and  hardly  as  vigorous  as  other  varieties  of  the  same  species. 
The  leaves  are  thick,  rather  dark  green  in  color,  leathery, 
cordate,  with  sharp-pointed  tip  and  sharply  serrated  margin. 

The  distinguishing  characteristics  of  the  Flowers  are  its 
tendency  to  bunch,  coarseness  and  meatiness  of  flesh,  thick- 
ness of  skin,  late  season  of  ripening,  good  shipping  qualities 
due  to  strong  adherence  of  berries  to  peduncles,  and  pro- 
ductiveness. In  these  respects  this  variety  is  well  distin- 
tinguished  from  other  sorts.  It  is  used  mostly  for  making 
wine,  though  the  product  is  not  considered  as  good  as  that 
from  the  other  important  Muscadine  varieties. 

It  appears  to  be  especially  well  adapted  to  sandy-loam 
soils  having  a  relatively  high  elevation,  and  it  is  reported  to  do 
well  in  such  locations  from  North  Carolina  southward  as  far 
as  the  Florida  Keys. 

The  cluster  illustrated  in  Plate  XI  was  grown  in  1910  at 
the  Pender  Test  Farm  of  the  North  Carolina  Department  of 
Agriculture,  Willard,  Pender  County,  N.  C. 


[Plate  XI. I 

The  first  vine  of  the  James  variety  was  found  growing, 
about  1866  or  1867,  by  Mr.  B.  M.  W.  James,  near  Grindool 
Creek,  a  short  distance  from  the  post  office  then  known  as 
Grindool,  Pitt  County,  N.  C,  but  now  called  Whitehurst, 
about  3  miles  south  of  Parmele. 

i  History  and  description  condensed  from  notes  published  by  George  C.  Hnsmann  and 
Charles  Dearing,  The  Muscadine  Grapes,  Bureau  of  Plant  Industry,  Bulletin  No.  273. 

Promising  New  Fruits.  119 

When  discovered,  the  vine  was  only  a  few  inches  long, 
but  it  bore  a  cluster  of  grapes  composed  of  9  or  10  berries 
which  were  unusually  large  and  which  remained  on  the 
vine  in  good  condition  for  a  long  time.  These  characteris- 
tics attracted  Mr.  James's  attention,  and  he  transplanted  it 
to  his  home  grounds,  a  short  distance  away.  This  vine  is 
still  growing  and  covers  an  arbor  about  20  feet  in  diameter- 


Cluster  nearly  round,  fairly  compact;  large  for  the  species,  but  because  of 
the  size  of  the  berries  rather  than  their  number;  berries  usually  4  to  6  to  the 
cluster,  but  ranging  from  2  to  12  or  even  more,  round,  large,  rather  glossy, 
bluish  or  deep  purplish  black  when  fully  ripe,  with  few  but  conspicuous 
"guinea-egg"  specks.  Before  reaching  full  maturity  there  is  a  character- 
istic reddish  coloring  about  the  peduncle;  flesh  firm,  meaty,  juicy;  skin 
thick,  rather  tough;  seeds  typical  of  the  species,  but  larger  than  those  of 
other  leading  varieties,  adhering  rather  strongly  to  pulp;  flavor  sweetish 
but  rather  flat,  berries  ripening  in  the  shade  being  mueh  better  than  those 
which  ripen  in  the  sun;  quality  medium;  season  about  October  1. 

The  vine  is  vigorous  and  productive,  and  it  readily  adapts 
itself  to  systematic  training  on  upright  forms  of  trellises. 
The  leaf  is  cordate  in  form  with  serrate  margin.  In  late 
summer  a  portion  of  the  space  between  the  prominent  veins 
turns  yellow  some  time  before  the  portions  immediately 
bordering  them  lose  their  green  color,  thus  producing  an 
effect  which  is  quite  characteristic  of  the  variety. 

The  James  is  not  much  grown  outside  of  North  Carolina, 
though  it  appears  to  do  well  as  far  south  as  Florida. 

The  attractive  appearance  of  the  fruit,  its  juiciness,  fair 
quality,  and  good  adherence  to  the  peduncle  combine  to 
make  the  James  one  of  the  best  Rotundifolia  varieties  for 
general  purposes  in  the  regions  to  which  it  is  adapted. 

The  cluster  illustrated  in  Plate  XI  was  grown  in  1910  at 
the  Pender  Test  Farm,  Willard,  Pender  County,  N.  C. 

[Plate  XII.] 


In  the  late  seventies  or  early  eighties  the  late  Gen.  H.  S. 
Sanford  procured  some  imported  Japanese  persimmon  trees 
for  planting  at  his  place  near  Sanford,  Fla.  The  budded  or 
grafted  top  of  one  of  these  trees  proved  to  be  dead,  but  the 
stock  below  the  point  of  union  was  alive.     It  was  rejected 

120  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

by  the  owner,  but  carried  home  and  planted  by  one  of  his 
employees,  a  Mr.  Ludbury.  In  due  course  a  sprout  grew 
from  the  roots,  and  from  it  a  tree  was  budded  for  Mr.  H.  L. 
DeForest.  The  original  tree  died  shortly  after  this,  but 
apparently  the  one  propagated  for  Mr.  DeForest  lived  and 
became  the  source  from  which  the  variety,  now  much  grown 
in  some  parts  of  Florida,  was  propagated. 

Very  early  in  the  history  of  the  variety,  following  the  suc- 
cessful growing  of  the  tree  on  Mr.  DeForest's  place,  about  15 
wilding  trees,  which  came  up  in  the  orange  grove  on  the 
homestead  of  Mrs.  O.  Kennedy,  were  budded  to  this  variety. 
This  place  was  located  a  short  distance  north  of  Sorrento 
and  about  1 1  miles  east  of  Eustis,  Fla. 

This  variety  was  first  commercially  propagated  some  time 
prior  to  1887  by  the  late  G.  H.  Norton,  then  the  proprietor 
of  a  nursery  at  Eustis,  and  by  him  it  was  named  "Triumph." 

It  is  reported  that  in  1887  Mr.  DeForest  shipped  5  boxes 
of  this  variety  to  Boston,  where  they  sold  for  $5  per  box.1 


Form  distinctly  oblate,  in  cross-section  indistinctly  quadrangular;  size 
small  to  medium;  cavity  regular,  large,  medium  depth,  slope  very  gradual; 
stem  short,  about  one-half  inch,  slender;  apex  a  small  point  set  in  a  very 
small,  shallow  basin  which  is  surrounded,  in  some  specimens  at  least,  by  an 
indistinct  quadrangular  shield  of  gray;  calyx  large,  4  lobed,  refiexed;  sur- 
face smooth  except  for  rather  indistinct  sutures  which  divide  the  fruit  into 
quarters,  the  suture  lines  in  many  specimens  encircling  or  nearly  encircling 
the  fruit  and  radiating  from  the  corners  of  the  4-parted  calyx ;  color  bright 
yellowish  red  to  dark  orange  red,  depending  upon  stage  of  maturity;  dots 
numerous,  very  minute,  appearing  indistinctly  beneath  the  skin,  hardly 
visible  in  some  specimens;  skin  very  thin,  tender;  bloom  very  light,  whit- 
ish; flesh  yellowish  red  at  outer  edge,  losing  yellowish  shade  as  fruit  softens, 
with  numerous  yellowish  fibers  through  the  flesh,  these  becoming  indistinct 
as  the  fruit  softens,  translucent;  texture  buttery,  tender,  moderately  juicy; 
core  oblong,  cylindrical,  medium  in  size,  closed;  seeds  very  variable,  many 
specimens  seedless,  sometimes  5  to  8  in  number,  plump  or  consisting  merely 
of  the  unfilled  integument,  small  to  medium  in  size,  rich  brown  in  color, 
condition  and  number  of  seeds  probably  determined  by  extent  of  fertiliza- 
tion; flavor  rich,  sweet,  somewhat  astringent  before  ripening,  but  losing 
astringency  upon  softening;  quality  very  good.  Season  in  vicinity  of  Glen 
St.  Mary  usually  begins  in  September  and  continues  until  toward  the  last 
of  November,  but  the  bulk  of  the  fruit  ripens  the  last  week  in  October  and 
the  first  half  of  November;  when  the  weather  is  not  too  cold  some  specimens 
may  hang  on  the  trees  until  nearly  Christmas. 

>  Letter  from  G.  H.  Norton,  October,  1887. 

Yearbook   U.  S.  Dept   of  Agriculture.    1913 

Plate  XI. 

Flowers  and  James  Grapes 

THE  5»CRETI  rt  WH-HCLWS   CO    ' 

Yearbook  U.  S.  Dept   of  Agriculture.  1913 

Plate  XII. 


Triumph  Persimmon 

Yearbook  U.  S.  Dept.  of  Agriculture.   1913 

Plate  XIII. 


Lue  Orange 

■me  SACKKTa  wilhelms  co  n  ■ 

Yearbook   U.  S    Dept   of  Agriculture.   1913 

Plate   XIV 

Boone  Chestnut 


->  .  J:   y£/!^L.<^z£'- 

HrT51r.kEirnWILHtl.MeCa    » 

Promising  New  Fruits.  121 

The  tree  presents  a  very  attractive  appearance  and  holds 
its  leaves  later  than  most  varieties  of  the  Japanese  type. 
Its  growth  even  in  the  nursery  row  is  very  characteristic, 
and  it  is  one  of  the  few  varieties  that  can  readily  be  distin- 
guished from  the  trees  of  other  sorts.  This  is  by  reason  of 
its  peculiar  bark  and  the  pink  color  of  the  petioles  when  the 
leaves  are  young.1  Some  of  the  trees  on  the  Kennedy  home- 
stead at  4  years  of  age  were  estimated  to  bear  1,500  fruits.2 
Heavy  bearing  has  continuously  characterized  the  variety. 
It  is  a  variety  highly  prized,  especially  for  home  use. 
Almost  every  landowner  in  the  vicinity  of  Eustis  has  from 
one  to  a  dozen  trees  of  it.3  The  skin  is  so  thin  and  tender 
that  it  may  be  less  desirable  for  shipping,  except  when 
marketed  in  a  rather  immature  state. 

The  specimen  illustrated  in  Plate  XII  was  grown  in  1913 

by  the  Glen  St.  Mary  Nurseries  Co.,  Glen  St.  Mary,  Baker 

County,  Fla. 


Synonym:  Lue  Gim  Gong. 

[Plate  XIII.) 


The  history  of  the  Lue  orange  as  published  by  the  Ameri- 
can Pomological  Society  *  is  substantially  as  follows : 

In  1888,  Mr.  Lue  Gim  Gong,  of  De  Land,  Fla.,  pollinated  the  Hart  (Hart's 
Late)  with  pollen  of  what  was  believed  to  be  a  Mediterranean  (Mediterranean 
Sweet)  orange.  A  single  fruit  containing  15  to  18  seeds  resulted  from  this 
effort.  From  these  seeds  about  12  trees  were  grown,  no  two  of  which  proved 
to  be  alike.  One  tree,  when  it  came  into  bearing,  produced  fruit  which 
appeared  to  be  so  superior  to  the  Hart,  which  is  the  standard  late  orange 
in  Florida,  that  Mr.  Lue  budded  one  side  of  each  of  45  trees  to  it.  Buds  of 
the  Hart  (Hart's  Late)  orange  were  put  into  the  other  side  of  15  of  these 
trees,  while  several  different  sorts  were  budded  into  the  other  side  of  the 
remaining  trees. 

This  variety  was  introduced  to  the  trade  in  1912  by  the 
Glen  St.  Mary  Nurseries  Co.,  under  the  name  "Lue  Gim 
Gong"  in  honor  to  the  originator.  This  name  is  reduced 
to  Lue  in  conformity  with  the  code  of  nomenclature  of  the 
American  Pomological  Society. 

i  Letter  from  H.  Harold  Hume,  November,  1913. 

>  Letter  from  G.  H.  Norton,  October,  1887. 

s  Letter  from  Frank  W.  Savage,  December,  1913. 

*  Proceedings,  American  Pomological  Society,  1911,  p.  172. 

122  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 


Form  roundish;  large;  cavity  very  small,  shallow,  somewhat  furrowed; 
stem  slender;  apex  a  small  tip  in  a  very  shallow  basin;  surface  slightly 
undulating  with  indented  dots;  color  rich  orange  yellow;  oil  cells  numer- 
ous; rind  relatively  smooth,  adherence  medium,  rather  thin  and  tender; 
segments  10  to  12,  fairly  regular  in  size;  flesh  pale  orange,  tender;  cells 
large,  irregular,  enveloping  tissue  thin;  core  nearly  solid,  filled  with  white 
pith;  juice  translucent,  abundant;  seeds  plump,  medium  in  size,  straw 
color,  few  in  number;  flavor  slightly  subacid,  pleasant;  quality  very  good; 
season  begins  in  July,  but  is  mainly  during  August  and  September  in 

The  tree  is  said  to  be  hardier  than  most  standard  varieties. 
It  makes  a  thrifty  growth  and  is  very  productive.  The 
fruit  is  said  to  hang  to  the  tree  well  during  the  rainy  season 
in  Florida,  which  usually  begins  in  June  and  lasts  several 
weeks.  The  fruit  ripens  during  a  period  when  about  the 
only  oranges  in  the  market  are  Valencias  from  California. 
It  is  remarkably  heavy,  does  not  lose  moisture  rapidly,  and 
possesses  excellent  shipping  and  keeping  qualities. 

Its  early  promise  of  exceptional  value  has  been  fully  real- 
ized as  the  older  trees  have  come  into  bearing.  It  is  consid- 
ered of  special  importance  as  a  late  variety  in  the  orange  dis- 
tricts of  Florida  and  worthy  of  careful  test  in  other  orange 

The  specimen  illustrated  in  Plate  XIII  was  supplied  in 
1911  by  the  Glen  St.  Mary  Nurseries  Co.,  Glen  St.  Mary, 
Baker  County,  Fla. 


Synonym:  Daniel  Boone. 

[Plate  XIV.) 


The  Boone  chestnut  originated  with  the  late  George  W. 
Endicott,  of  Villa  Ridge,  Pulaski  County,  111.,  and  is  a  seedling 
of  the  Giant  (Japan  Giant)  pollinated  with  an  American 
chestnut.  According  to  the  originator,  it  took  him  seven 
years  to  find  a  tree  of  the  latter  which  blossomed  early 
enough  to  furnish  pollen  with  which  to  pollinate  the  Giant. 
After  finding  one,  he  pollinated  20  blossoms  of  the  Japanese 
variety  in  1895.  From  this  work  he  obtained  14  nuts. 
These  were  stored  in  moist  sand  during  the  following  winter, 
and  on  April  1,  1896,  they  were  planted. 

Promising  New  Fruits.  123 

All  germinated,  but  with  the  exception  of  two  trees  they 
made  a  feeble  growth  and  gave  promise  of  no  value.  The 
two  more  vigorous  trees  made  a  growth  of  about  3J  feet 
during  the  first  season.  One  of  these — the  variety  now 
under  consideration — ripened  six  burs  of  nuts  early  in  Sep- 
tember of  the  following  year;  that  is,  the  second  year  from 
seed.1  The  name  by  which  the  variety  is  known  was  applied 
by  Mr.  Endicott  in  1902  after  he  became  impressed  with  its 
value  and  was  given  in  memory  of  that  early  American 
pioneer,  Daniel  Boone.  He  began  propagating  it  about  the 
same  time  for  his  own  use,  but  it  was  introduced  to  the  trade 
by  Mr.  E.  A.  Eiehl,  of  Alton,  Madison  County,  111.  The 
name,  appearing  as  "Daniel  Boone,"  was  published  first  in 
the  Transactions  of  the  Illinois  State  Horticultural  Society 
for  1906.2 


Burs  large,  color  rather  dark  green;  spines  short,  stiff,  dense,  several 
times  branched  on  peduncles  one-eighth  to  one-fourth  inch  long;  nuts 
large,  55  to  62  per  pound  when  fresh ;  usually  1  to  4  nuts  to  the  bur,  occasion- 
ally as  many  as  6 ;  color  rich  brown,  pubescent  only  at  tip ;  shell  of  medium 
thickness;  inner  husk  rather  thick,  quite  pubescent;  flavor  sweet;  quality 
good  to  very  good,  comparing  favorably  with  the  best  of  the  Japanese 
varieties;  season  about  September. 

The  tree  is  thrifty  and  vigorous,  with  a  symmetrical, 
roundish  head.  In  August,  1913,  the  original  tree  measured 
38  inches  in  circumference  at  breast  height  and  was  esti- 
mated to  have  a  height  of  25  feet  and  a  spread  of  limb  of 
more  than  30  feet.  The  foliage  is  dense  and  rich  green  in 
color;  the  leaflets  average  about  6  inches  in  length  and  are 
deeply  serrated.  The  tree  usually  blossoms  about  June  5 
and  matures  its  crop  before  September  20,  about  30  days 
earlier  than  the  native  American  chestnuts  growing  in  the 
same  locality . 

This  variety  is  apparently  strongly  self-fertile  and  in  this 
respect  is  unlike  most  chestnut  trees.  For  the  first  three  or 
four  years  after  it  came  into  bearing  and  while  it  was  some- 
what isolated  from  other  trees,  seedlings  of  it  which  were 
grown  by  Mr.  Endicott  came  nearly  "true  to  the  variety," 
but  later  other  trees  standing  near  it  began  to  blossom ;  fol- 
lowing this  the  seedlings  of  Boone  varied  greatly. 

1  Letters  from  George  W.  Endicott,  October  and  November,  1913. 

2  Transactions  of  the  Illinois  State  Horticultural  Society  for  the  year  1906,  vol.  40  (1906), 
p.  219. 

124  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

The  early  bearing  of  the  original  Boone  tree  has  been 
mentioned.  It  has  continued  to  bear  with  remarkable  con- 
stancy and  regularity.  With  only  one  important  exception, 
which  was  in  1910  when  injured  by  a  very  late  frost,  the 
crop  has  been  larger  each  year  than  it  was  in  the  preceding 
one.  The  bearing  record  of  this  tree  as  furnished  by  Mr. 
Endicott 1  is  as  follows : 

Bearing  record  of  the  original  Boone  chestnut  tree  at  Villa  Ridge,  III. 




























i  6 




















=  5 













i  Burs. 

2  Frost  in  June. 

The  crop  of  1913  was  sold  at  30  cents  per  pound,  giving  a 
gross  return  for  the  one  tree  of  $42.  But,  obviously,  such  a 
large  return  is  exceptional  and  not  a  safe  basis  for  estimates 
of  "average  returns"  for  entire  orchards. 

The  bur  of  nuts  illustrated  in  Plate  XIV  was  grown  in 
1913  by  the  late  George  W.  Endicott,  Villa  Eidge,  Pulaski 
County,  111. 

'  Letter  from  Mr.  Endicott,  October,  1913. 


By  Francis  G.  Caffey, 
Solicitor,  U.  S.  Department  of  Agriculture. 

IN  the  early  history  of  the  United  States  little  legislative 
attention  was  given  to  health  conservation.  When 
necessity  for  public  action  was  first  generally  recognized,  it 
was  almost  universally  regarded  as  the  business  of  the  States. 
But,  along  with  the  growth  of  population,  the  multiplica- 
tion of  complexities  of  civilization,  the  development  of 
transportation,  the  quickening  of  communication,  and  the 
increase  of  governmental  activity  in  other  matters  directly 
affecting  the  lives  of  individuals,  there  has  gradually  come 
into  existence  a  mass  of  Federal  legislation  on  the  sub- 
ject. To-day  each  of  the  ten  executive  departments  of  the 
United  States  Government  is  engaged,  directly  or  indirectly, 
in  the  administration  of  one  or  more  acts  of  Congress 
designed  to  safeguard  health. 

The  original  statute  of  1862  establishing  the  Department 
of  Agriculture  defined  its  chief  purpose  to  be  the  acquisition 
and  diffusion  among  the  people  of  the  United  States  of  useful 
information  on  subjects  connected  with  agriculture,  in  the 
most  general  and  comprehensive  sense  of  that  word.  While 
this  definition  is  still  retained  in  the  organic  law,  concur- 
rently with  the  spread  of  its  other  activities  the  department 
has  had  imposed  upon  it  many  duties  that  concern  health 
primarily  and  agriculture  only  incidentally.  The  principal 
of  these  relate  to  foods,  drugs,  and  meats. 

The  food  and  drugs  act  and  the  meat  inspection  act  were 
approved  the  same  day,  June  30,  1906.  Both  were  the  out- 
growth of  statutes  which  had  proved  insufficient.  Both, 
probably,  are  mere  forerunners  of  more  effective  legislation 
which  experience  will  demonstrate  to  be  essential;  in  the 
last  seven  and  a  half  years  the  food  and  drugs  act  has  been 
twice  amended  and  the  provisions  of  the  meat  inspection  act 
have  been  extended  to  imported  meats.  Both  operate  within 
the  District  of  Columbia,  the  Territories,  and  other  places 


126  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

under  the  jurisdiction  of  the  United  States.  Both  deal  with 
interstate  and  foreign  commerce.  Their  main  domestic 
concern  is  necessarily  confined  to  interstate  transactions  and 
imports,  inasmuch  as  the  District  of  Columbia,  the  Territories, 
and  the  insular  possessions  comprise  a  relatively  small  pro- 
portion of  our  population.  A  fair  conception  of  their 
limitations  is  gained  by  considering  that  in  our  forty-eight 
States  all  foods,  drugs,  and  meats  which  are  produced, 
manufactured,  handled,  and  sold  intrastate,  which  never 
enter  interstate  or  foreign  commerce,  may  be  kept  beyond  the 
pale  of  Federal  law. 


The  purpose  of  the  food  and  drugs  act  is  twofold.  Pri- 
marily, it  is  intended  to  enforce  honest  labeling  of  the  foods 
we  eat  and  the  drugs  we  take.  Secondarily,  it  is  intended  to 
conserve  health  in  so  far  as  it  is  affected  by  these  articles. 
The  act,  therefore,  makes  unlawful  the  misbranding  and 
adulteration  of  the  foods  and  drugs  with  which  it  deals. 

Each  of  the  terms  "food,"  "drug,"  "misbranded,"  and 
"adulterated"  is  specifically  defined  in  the  act.  In  some 
respects  the  definitions  are  broader,  and  in  other  respects 
more  restrictive,  than  the  meanings  given  in  common  par- 
lance. Wherever  any  of  these  words  is  used  in  connection 
with  the  act  it  is  to  be  taken  solely  in  its  statutory  sense. 

"Food,"  within  the  act,  includes  "all  articles  used  for 
food,  drink,  confectionery,  or  condiment  by  man  or  other 
animals."  "Drug,"  as  used  in  the  act,  includes  '?all  medi- 
cines and  preparations  recognized  in  the  United  States 
Pharmacopoeia  or  National  Formulary  for  internal  or  exter- 
nal use,  and  any  substance  or  mixture  of  substances  intended 
to  be  used  for  the  cure,  mitigation,  or  prevention  of  disease 
of  either  man  or  other  animals." 

All  "misbranding"  and  much  statutory  "adulteration" 
are  capable  of  correction  by  the  use  of  appropriate  names 
and  labels.  The  prohibitions  against  improper  nomencla- 
ture and  marking  are  of  immense  commercial  importance  to 
manufacturers,  dealers,  and  consumers;  they  tend  to  pre- 
vent cheating  and  to  compel  fair  dealing.  Their  value  in 
that  aspect  is  great  and  should  not  be  underestimated.  They 
are  also  important  to  consumers  as  aids  in  avoiding  the 

Health  Laws.  127 

purchase  or  use  of  articles  without  knowing  what  they  are; 
but  the  "misbranding"  and  a  large  proportion  of  the  "adul- 
teration" provisions  of  the  food  and  drugs  act  have  no  other 
direct  bearing  on  health. 

It  is  unfortunate  that  the  general  public  has  not  yet  appre- 
ciated that  the  act  is  principally  a  labeling  and  not  a  health 

The  statute  takes  cognizance  of  two  classes  of  adulterated 
foods.  In  one  class  whether  an  article  is  adulterated  depends 
on  the  name  or  the  label  under  which  it  is  sold.  Change  of 
name  or  label  so  as  correctly  to  describe  the  product  will 
relieve  it  from  the  charge  of  adulteration,  which  could  other- 
wise be  maintained  against  it,  because  of  false  or  misleading 
representation  as  to  its  identity,  quality,  or  strength.  Adul- 
teration of  the  second  class  is  inherent  in  articles  them- 
selves, irrespective  of  names  or  labels,  and  incapable  of  being 
cured  by  naming  or  labeling.  The  more  important  provisions 
of  the  act  affecting  products  of  this  class  declare  adulterated 
those  foods  which  consist,  in  whole  or  in  part,  of  a  filthy, 
decomposed,  or  putrid  substance,  or  contain  any  part  of  an 
animal  unfit  for  food,  or  contain  any  added  poisonous  or 
other  added  deleterious  ingredient  which  may  render  the 
articles  injurious  to  health.  It  is  further  provided  that 
confectionery  shall  be  deemed  adulterated  if  it  contain  any 
of  certain  specified  substances  or  any  poisonous  or  dele- 
terious ingredient,  whether  added  or  not. 

Whether  a  drug  is  adulterated  depends  solely  on  the 
labeling  or  the  name  under  which  it  is  sold.  Falling  below 
the  professed  standard  of  strength,  quality,  or  purity  is  an 
adulteration,  but  declaration  on  the  label  of  the  actual 
strength,  quality,  or  purity  of  an  article,  notwithstanding 
that  it  differs  in  these  respects  from  the  standard  laid  down 
in  the  United  States  Pharmacopoeia  or  National  Formulary, 
removes  the  article  from  the  ban  of  the  statute.  The  food 
and  drugs  act  contains  no  provision  as  to  drugs  prohibiting 
adulteration  in  any  popular  sense  of  that  word.  The  forms 
of  "adulteration"  of  drugs  which  are  prohibited  may  all  be 
cured  by  correct  labeling. 

In  addition  to  the  general  advantage  to  consumers  result- 
ing from  the  prohibition  of  untruthful  labels,  an  important 
protection  against  the  misuse  of  certain  habit-forming  drugs 

128  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

is  afforded  by  a  special  requirement  that  the  quantity  or  pro- 
portion of  drugs  of  that  class,  when  present  in  any  article 
subject  to  the  act,  shall  be  stated  on  the  label. 

It  is  a  criminal  offense  to  manufacture,  sell,  or  offer  for 
sale  any  adulterated  or  misbranded  food  or  drug  within  the 
District  of  Columbia  or  within  the  Territories,  including  the 
insular  possessions  of  the  United  States;  to  ship  or  deliver  for 
shipment  any  such  article  from  any  State  or  Territory  or  tho 
District  of  Columbia  to  any  other  State  or  Territory  or  the  Dis- 
trict of  Columbia  or  to  a  foreign  country;  or  to  receive  and 
deliver  or  offer  to  deliver  in  original  unbroken  packages  any 
such  article  brought  from  another  State  or  Territory  or  the 
District  of  Columbia  or  a  foreign  country. 

The  penalty  for  a  first  offense  under  the  clause  regulating 
manufacturing  is  a  fine  not  to  exceed  $500,  or  imprisonment 
for  one  year,  or  both,  and  for  a  second  offense,  a  fine  of  not 
less  than  $1 ,000,  or  imprisonment  for  one  year,  or  both.  The 
penalty  for  a  first  offense  under  any  other  clause  is  a  fine  of 
not  exceeding  $200,  and  for  each  subsequent  offense,  a  fine  of 
not  exceeding  $300,  or  imprisonment  for  not  more  than  one 
year,  or  both.  In  addition,  under  libel  proceedings  in  the 
Federal  courts,  adulterated  or  misbranded  articles  held  for 
sale  in  the  District  of  Columbia,  the  Territories,  or  insular 
possessions,  or  in  the  course  of  interstate  or  foreign  transpor- 
tation, or  remaining  after  interstate  or  foreign  transportation 
unloaded,  unsold,  or  in  original  unbroken  packages,  may  be 
seized  and,  when  condemned  by  the  court,  may  be  destroyed. 

The  Department  of  Agriculture  administers  the  act 
through  the  Bureau  of  Chemistry.  Samples  are  collected, 
investigations  conducted,  and  hearings  held  by  that  bureau. 
A  compliance  with  department  decisions  is  secured  in  large 
measure  without  resort  to  the  courts.  Apparent  violations 
of  the  law  are  reported  to  the  Department  of  Justice  by  the 
Department  of  Agriculture  when  the  facts  seem  to  warrant 
prosecutions  or  seizures.  In  addition,  United  States  attor- 
neys are  required,  when  satisfactory  evidence  is  furnished, 
to  prosecute  violations  of  the  act  reported  to  them  by  health, 
food,  or  drug  officials  of  the  States,  the  District  of  Columbia, 
and  the  Territories.  The  conduct  of  all  litigations,  civil  and 
criminal,  is  in  the  hands  of  the  Department  of  Justice.  The 
statute  makes  it  the  duty  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture 

Health  Laws.  129 

to  publish  notices  of  the  judgments  of  the  courts.  The  pub- 
licity given  by  means  of  these  notices  is  a  powerful  aid 
toward  securing  compliance  with  administrative  rulings  and 
deterring  the  commission  of  offenses. 

The  importation  of  foreign  and  the  export  of  domestic 
foods  and  drugs  are  also  regulated  by  the  act.  In  the  inves- 
tigation of  imported  products,  the  Treasury  Department  co- 
operates with  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 


The  meat  inspection  act,  though  similar  in  intent  to  the 
food  and  drugs  act,  is  primarily  a  health  and  secondarily  a 
labeling  law.  Its  purposes  are  accomplished  by  different 
means  and  are  capable  of  more  nearly  certain  attainment. 
Inspection  of  meats  derived  from  cattle,  sheep,  swine,  and 
goats,  prior  to  entry  into  interstate  or  foreign  commerce,  is 
mandatory,  except  in  the  cases  of  retail  butchers  and  retail 
dealers  supplying  their  customers  and  of  animals  slaughtered 
by  farmers  on  the  farm.  Under  the  food  and  drugs  act  the 
sole  powers  are  to  penalize  persons  who  and  to  seize  articles 
which  violate  the  law.  Carriers  are  not  prohibitsd  from 
transporting  adulterated  or  misbranded  foods  or  drugs.  The 
meat  inspection  act  not  only  prescribes  punishments  for 
producers,  shippers,  and  dealers  guilty  of  offenses  under  its 
provisions,  but  prohibits  carriers  from  transporting  for  inter- 
state or  foreign  commerce  meats  derived  from  any  of  the 
four  classes  of  animals  named  in  the  act  which  do  not  bear 
marks  of  Federal  inspection  and  approval.  It  is  estimated 
that  approximately  sixty  per  cent  of  all  meats  and  meat  food 
products  in  the  United  States  derived  from  cattle,  sheep, 
swine,  and  goats  are  under  Federal  inspection.  It  is  obvi- 
ous that  but  a  small  percentage  of  the  foods  and  drugs 
transported  in  interstate  or  foreign  commerce  could  be  sub- 
jected to  Government  inspection  and  marking  without  an 
appropriation  many  times  the  $3,200,000  a  year  required 
for  meat  inspection. 

The  meat  inspection  act  provides  for  the  maintenance  by 
the  Department  of  Agriculture  of  a  system  of  inspection  of 
establishments  in  the  United  States  in  which  cattle,  sheep, 
swine,  or  goats  are  slaughtered  or  the  carcasses  or  meat  or 
meat  food  products  of  which  are  prepared  for  interstate  or 

27306°— YBK  1913 9 

130  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

foreign  commerce.  If,  on  such  inspection,  the  articles  are 
found  to  be  wholesome,  within  the  meaning  of  the  act,  it  is 
the  duty  of  department  inspectors  to  mark  them  "inspected 
and  passed,"  and,  if  not,  to  mark  them  "inspected  and 

All  such  establishments  are  required  to  apply  to  the 
Department  of  Agriculture  for  inspection  and  to  maintain 
sanitary  conditions  in  the  conduct  of  their  business.  No 
meats  or  meat  food  products  are  permitted  to  be  brought 
into  federally  inspected  establishments  unless  derived  from 
animals  which  have  had  both  ante-mortem  inspection  and 
post-mortem  inspection'  at  the  time  of  slaughter,  except 
farm-slaughtered  animals,  with  the  heads  and  certain  viscera 
attached,  which  must  be  inspected  at  the  time  of  admission. 
Inspection  may  be  withdrawn  from  establishments  which 
violate  the  law  or  the  regulations  prescribed  by  the  depart- 
ment. The  withdrawal  of  Federal  inspection  from  an  estab- 
lishment is  tantamount  to  a  prohibition  against  its  longer 
engaging  in  interstate  or  foreign  commerce  in  articles  with 
which  the  act  deals. 

Transportation  in  interstate  or  foreign  commerce  of  any 
meat  or  meat  food  product  derived  from  cattle,  sheep,  swine, 
or  goats  not  bearing  the  mark  of  Federal  inspection  and 
approval  is  an  offense,  punishable  by  a  fine  of  not  more  than 
$10,000,  or  imprisonment  for  not  more  than  two  years,  or 
both.  The  sale  or  offer  for  sale  or  transportation  for  inter- 
state or  foreign  commerce  of  any  diseased,  unsound,  unhealth- 
ful,  or  unwholesome  meat  or  meat  food  product,  or  of  such 
an  article  which  is  otherwise  unfit  for  food,  with  knowledge 
that  the  same  is  intended  for  human  consumption,  is  punish- 
able by  a  fine  of  not  exceeding  $1,000,  or  by  imprisonment 
for  not  exceeding  one  year,  or  both. 

In  addition,  all  meats  and  meat  food  products  entering 
interstate  or  foreign  commerce,  or  manufactured  or  sold  in 
the  District  of  Columbia  or  in  the  Territories,  are  subject  to 
the  provisions  of  the  food  and  drugs  act.  While  the  meat 
inspection  act  does  not  provide  authority  to  seize  such  arti- 
cles outside  of  federally  inspected  establishments,  the  power 
of  seizure  conferred  by  the  food  and  drugs  act  is  applicable 
to  them. 

Health  Laws.  131 

The  meat  inspection  act  exempts  from  its  inspection 
requirements  animals  slaughtered  by  farmers  on  the  farm 
and  retail  butchers  and  retail  dealers  in  meats  and  meat 
food  products  supplying  their  customers,  but  provides  that 
if  any  of  these  persons  ships  his  product  in  interstate  or 
foreign  commerce,  knowing  that  it  is  intended  for  human 
consumption,  and  it  be  unfit  for  food,  he  is  guilty  of  a 
violation  of  the  law. 

As  originally  enacted  in  1906,  the  meat  inspection  act  did 
not  deal  with  imported  meats;  they  were  subject  only  to  the 
food  and  drugs  act.  By  the  tariff  act  of  October  3,  1913, 
the  importation  of  meats  was  made  conditional  upon  their 
being  wholesome  and  free  from  unwholesome  substances  and 
complying  with  regulations  of  the  Secretary  of  Agriculture. 
To  ascertain  wholesomeness,  the  Secretary  of  Agriculture 
investigates  foreign  systems  of  meat  inspection  and  causes 
the  meats  themselves  to  be  inspected  at  ports  of  entry  before 
admission  into  the  United  States.  Importations  are  pro- 
hibited from  countries  which  do  not  maintain  systems  of 
inspection  as  efficient  as  our  own,  and  articles  found  upon 
inspection  at  ports  of  entry  to  be  unwholesome  or  to  contain 
unwholesome  substances  must  be  refused  admission  into  the 
United  States.  After  admission,  with  marks  of  Federal 
inspection  and  approval,  such  imported  products  may  be 
carried  into  federally  inspected  establishments  and  must  be 
otherwise  treated  as  domestic  articles  which  have  been 
inspected  and  passed. 

The  Department  of  Agriculture  administers  the  meat 
inspection  act  through  the  Bureau  of  Animal  Industry. 
Most  of  the  results  are  accomplished  without  litigation. 
Where  prosecutions  are  necessary,  they  are  conducted  by 
the  Department  of  Justice,  upon  reports  of  the  Depart- 
ment of  Agriculture,  in  the  same  way  as  proceedings  under 
the  food  and  drugs  act. 

The  proportion  of  the  foods,  drugs,  and  meats  consumed 
by  the  people  of  the  United  States,  which  of  necessity  must 
enter  interstate  commerce  and  are,  therefore,  subject  to  the 
food  and  drugs  act  or  the  meat  inspection  act,  or  both,  is, 
and  always  will  be,  large.  The  problem  of  efficient  admin- 
istration is  enormous,  difficult,  and  expensive.     Full  com- 

132  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

prehension  by  the  people  of  precisely  what  these  statutes 
are  would  greatly  lessen  the  burden  of  officials  charged  with 
the  duty  of  enforcing  them. 


While  the  laws  dealing  with  foods,  drugs,  and  meats  are 
of  chief  importance,  other  laws  affecting  health,  with  the 
administration  of  which  the  Department  of  Agriculture  is 
charged,  are  also  important. 

The  so-called  twenty-eight-hour  law  prohibits  the  confine- 
ment in  railroad  cars  and  boats  of  animals  in  course  of  inter- 
state transit  for  a  period  longer  than  twenty-eight  hours  with- 
out being  unloaded,  for  feed,  water,  and  rest,  for  five  hours, 
except  that,  upon  proper  written  request  in  advance  by  the 
owner  or  person  in  custody  of  the  shipment,  the  period  of  con- 
finement may  be  extended  to  thirty-six  hours;  provided  that 
carriers  may  relieve  themselves  of  the  duty  of  unloading  by 
supplying  ample  facilities  for  feed,  water,  and  rest  on  board 
their  cars  or  boats.  The  intention  of  this  statute  is  humane, 
but  it  tends  to  bring  animals  to  slaughter  markets  in  more  fit 

Three  acts  of  Congress  prohibit  the  interstate  shipment  of 
live  stock  affected  with  contagious,  infectious,  or  communi- 
cable disease,  or  coming  from  areas  quarantined  by  the  Secre- 
tary of  Agriculture  for  such  disease.  Another  act  prohibits 
importation  of  neat  cattle,  sheep  and  other  ruminants,  and 
swine  which  are  diseased  or  infected  with  disease  or  which 
have  been  exposed  to  infection  within  sixty  days  previous.  A 
recent  act  regulates  the  importation  and  interstate  shipment 
of  viruses,  serums,  and  toxins  for  the  treatment  of  domestic 
animals.  Under  appropriation  acts  the  department  is  en- 
gaged in  campaigns  against  hog  cholera  and  other  animal 
diseases,  obviously  alike  in  the  interest  of  human  health  and 
of  preventing  waste.  The  department  is  also  charged  with 
the  inspection  of  dairy  products  intended  for  export,  with 
the  inspection  of  process  or  renovated  butter,  with  the 
sanitary  inspection  of  renovated  butter  factories,  with  the 
conduct  of  investigations  for  the  determination  of  the 
nutritive  value  of  foods,  and,  in  connection  with  the  Forest 

Health  Laws.  133 

Service,  with  the  administration  of  national  forest  are&s 
affecting  the  water  supplies  of  certain  municipalities.  Much 
more  of  the  department  work  which  is  primarily  directed 
toward  increasing  economic  efficiency  incidentally  affects 
the  health  of  farmers  and  the  wholesomeness  of  all  kinds  of 
agricultural  products. 


Anomalous  as  it  may  seem,  the  validity  of  a  large  propor- 
tion of  Federal  health  laws  is  predicated  on  the  commerce 
clause  of  the  Constitution.  Yet  the  Supreme  Court  of  the 
United  States  has  sustained  them  against  all  attacks.  What- 
ever may  have  been  the  original  conception  of  the  relative 
functions  of  the  States  and  the  Federal  Government  in  re- 
spect to  health  conservation,  it  can  not  now  be  doubted  that 
there  is  a  very  large  field  in  which  Federal  authority  is  com- 
plete and,  when  exercised,  exclusive.  The  fact  is  that  the 
statutes  already  enacted  are  but  a  crossing  of  the  threshold 
of  the  power  which  Congress  may  exercise  and,'  if  the  public 
demand  it,  doubtless  will  exercise. 

On  the  other  hand,  there  are  indisputable  limitations  upon 
Congress.  Beyond  these  the  Federal  Government  can  not 
go.  There  is,  and  always  will  be,  a  large  field  exclusively  for 
State  legislation.  If  the  power  of  the  States  be  not  fully 
exercised,  then  the  public  health,  in  so  far  as  it  is  dependent 
on  governmental  activity,  will  remain  unprotected. 

On  the  administrative  side,  the  Department  of  Agriculture 
for  years  past  has  cooperated  in  many  ways  with  the  States 
in  health  matters.  It  is  manifestly  important  that  such 
cooperation  should  continue;  that  duplication  of  effort 
should  be  avoided;  that  Federal  and  State  legislation  should 
be  supplementary  and  consistent;  and  that  State  statutes 
should  be  uniform. 

Experience  demonstrates  that  there  is  still  much  popular 
misconception  of  the  separate  domains  of  Federal  and  State 
laws.  In  order  to  secure  intelligent  Federal  administration, 
and  to  prevent  dormant  reliance  upon  lack  of  necessity  for 
State  action,  it  can  not  be  too  strongly  emphasized  or  too 
frequently  recalled  that,  outside  of  the  territory  which  is 
exclusively  under  the  jurisdiction  of  the  United  States,  the 

334  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

two  chief  Federal  laws  affecting  health,  which  the  general 
public  knows  about,  are  operative  only  upon  interstate  and 
foreign  commerce  in  the  articles  with  which  those  laws  deal. 

In  framing  further  health  legislation  Congress  may  law- 
fully cover  much  unexplored  ground.  The  inevitable  dif- 
ficulties to  be  overcome  under  the  limitations  contained  in 
the  Federal  Constitution  can  be  obviated  by  complete  and 
uniform  exercise  of  their  powers  by  the  States.  Wisdom 
suggests  that  these  difficulties  should  be  avoided  in  future 
by  appropriate  State  activity. 

It  is  essential  to  recognize  the  respective  fields  of  Congress 
and  the  State  legislatures  in  measuring  the  possible  efficiency 
of  present  laws  and  in  planning  for  new  laws. 



Prepared  from  data  furnished  by  Prof.  F.  E.  L.  Beal,  Biological  Survey. 

WHEN  our  English  ancestors  first  came  to  America  they 
found  a  bird  with  a  brown  back  and  a  red  breast 
that  reminded  them  of  the  robin  redbreast  so  often  alluded 
to  by  the  British  poets,  and  they  proceeded  to  call  the  new 
bird  by  the  old  name.  The  bird,  however,  was  not  the  same. 
Our  so-called  "robin  redbreast"  is  really  a  thrush,  although 
few  of  us  would  think  of  him  as  related  to  the  sober  brown 
wood  thrush  or  the  distinctive  bluebird.  The  English  robin 
redbreast  is  actually  more  like  our  bluebird  than  like  our 
robin.  The  fallacy  of  the  earliest  settlers  who  transferred 
their  affection  from  the  real  redbreast  to  our  robin  has  been 
largely  responsible  for  the  esteem  in  which  we  now  hold  our 
little  American  bird  neighbor. 

The  object  of  this  transferred  affection,  however,  is  worthy 
of  our  kind  consideration,  as  are  practically  all  members  of 
the  American  thrush  family,  to  which  it  belongs.  This 
family  is  one  of  the  most  prominent  and  widely  spread  of  the 
various  bird  families  in  the  United  States.  The  birds  have 
retiring  habits  and  their  songs  are  pleasing.  Their  plumage 
is  modest,  indeed,  it  is  almost  somber,  the  blue  of  the  blue- 
bird (most  noticeable  of  the  thrushes)  being  the  most  bril- 
liant tint  displayed  by  any  of  the  family.  The  general  char- 
acter of  the  thrushes'  plumage  is  a  brown  back  with  a  spotted 
breast.     The  robin  and  the  bluebird  have  red  breasts. 

Through  close  association  with  man  and  his  works,  this 
group  of  birds  have  endeared  themselves  to  our  rural  popula- 
tion and  are  often  protected  merely  because  their  presence 
is  enjoyed.  In. addition,  they  fulfill  a  useful  function  by 
reducing  the  insect  life  constantly  preying  upon  the  crops. 


136  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

A  large  part  of  their  food,  particularly  of  the  young  ones, 
consists  of  insects.  Unless  nature  provided  checks  like  the 
thrush  family  to  keep  the  balance  between  the  insect  and 
the  vegetable  kingdoms,  vegetation  would  soon  be  destroyed. 
The  thrush  family  is  a  very  large  one,  and  itself  is  made  up 
of  a  number  of  smaller  groups  or  species.  These  are  usually 
well  known  to  the  farmers  in  the  vicinities  they  frequent. 
The  following  are  the  common  names  for  species  of  the  well- 
known  family  of  thrushes: 

Robin  (PL  XV).  Veery. 

Oregon  robin.  Gray-cheeked  thrush. 

Bluebird.  Olive-backed  thrush. 

Western  bluebird.  Hermit  thrush  (Frontispiece,  lower 
Mountain  bluebird.  figure). 

Wood  thrush  (Frontispiece,  upper 
figure) . 


One  little  member  of  this  family  is  so  seldom  noticed  that 
he  has  no  popular  name.  Scientists  call  him  "Townsend's 
solitaire."  He  inhabits  mainly  inaccessible  mountain  gorges 
in  the  West,  subsists  largely  on  wild  berries,  and  so  comes 
into  contact  with  man  only  infrequently. 


In  contrast  to  the  "solitaire,"  the  robin  and  the  bluebird 
are  the  most  domestic  of  the  family.  Their  songs  are  among 
the  earliest  to  announce  the  coming  of  spring,  as  they  return 
to  their  breeding  places  in  March  or  early  April.  The  robin 
is  found  as  far  north  as  Alaska.  Generally,  however,  he  is 
fond  of  the  districts  east  of  the  Great  Plains,  which  are  more 
thickly  settled  by  man. 

The  Oregon  robin  is  a  slightly  different  fellow,  being  found 
westward  toward  the  Pacific.  Both  robins  are  for  the  most 
part  migratory  in  the  northern  half  of  this  country,  but  some 
individuals  remain  throughout  the  winter  in  the  north  where 
shelter  and  food  are  assured.  Cedar  swamps  where  there  are 
many  berries  are  favorite  winter  resorts  for  the  robin.  The 
robin,  and  the  bluebird  also,  habitually  winter  as  far  north  as 
southern  Illinois,  and  not  infrequently  the  former  remains  as 
far  north  as  Massachusetts  or  southern  Michigan,  if  food  is 
abundant.  The  robin  is  probably  more  familiarly  known 
and  has  figured  in  our  American  literature  to  a  greater  extent 

Yearbook   US    Dept.  of  Agriculture.  1913 


Robin  (Planesticus  Migratorius) 

THE     SA.t^ETT    *     «Vll_HEl_MS    CO. NY 

American  Thrushes  Valuable  Bird  Neighbors.         137 

than  all  other  birds  together.  The  bluebird  has  also  come 
in  for  a  larger  share  of  attention  than  most  of  the  thrushes. 

The  first  of  the  thrushes  to  leave  for  the  South  in  the  fall 
are  the  wood  thrush,  the  -veery,  the  gray-cheeked,  and  the 
olive-backed  thrushes.  The  olive-back  usually  stays  longest 
in  southern  climes,  and  only  makes  its  first  appearance  in  the 
North  in  May. 

The  different  species  that  make  up  the  great  thrush  family 
have  each  developed  little  peculiarities  of  their  own.  These 
are  particularly  noticeable  in  the  homes  which  the  different 
species  choose  for  themselves.  The  hermit  thrush  and  veery 
generally  build  on  the  ground  in  thick  cover.  If  possible 
they  choose  a  locality  near  running  water.  Other  members 
of  the  family  usually  build  upon  shrubs  or  small  trees. 


The  bluebird  is  the  most  exclusive  in  the  matter  of  homes. 
He  usually  selects  a  place  completely  inclosed,  sometimes 
moving  into  the  cozy  hollow  of  a  tree  that  has  been  carefully 
cleaned  out  by  an  obliging  woodpecker.  He  will  also  show  par- 
tiality for  dwellings  rigged  up  by  human  hands  for  his  special 
accommodation,  as  a  box  or  birdhouse  placed  on  a  post. 

The  robin  also  likes  shelter,  but  does  not  insist  upon  being 
as  exclusive  as  the  bluebird.  A  beam  under  a  shed,  a  cranny 
in  a  wall,  a  cornice  under  a  gable,  or  the  fork  of  a  tree  usually 
satisfies  his  more  democratic  tastes. 


All  the  members  of  the  thrush  family  can  sing,  but  the 
most  operatic  of  them  all  is  the  wood  thrush.  The  wood 
thrush,  however,  is  so  modest  that  many  country  people 
who  know  his  song  do  not  know  him  by  sight.  His  favorite 
time  for  singing  is  in  the  early  evening  or  toward  the  close  of 
a  sultry  afternoon,  when  a  shower  has  cooled  the  air.  At 
such  times  his  song  has  a  peculiar  sweetness  unlike  that  of 
any  other  bird.  The  veery  and  hermit  thrush  are  also  good 

As  is  usual  among  birds,  the  gayest  colored  members  of 
this  family  are  the  poorest  musicians.  So  it  happens  that 
the  bluebird  and  the  robin  sing  less  frequently  than  the 
more  somber-colored  thrushes.     However,  they  do  sing,  and 

138  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

their  notes  are  listened  for  in  the  early  spring  by  country 
folk,  who  welcome  these  earliest  heralds  of  warmer  weather 
and  flowers. 


While  all  the  thrushes  like  berries  and  fruit,  they  are 
fonder  of  animal  food.  They  are  especially  partial  to  beetles, 
and  these  make  up  about  one-fifth  of  their  animal  diet.  The 
bluebird  members  are  most  addicted  to  the  beetle  diet,  and  as 
many  beetles  are  very  destructive  to  crops,  the  farmer  feels 
kindly  toward  these  little  bird  neighbors  that  help  him  out. 

Indeed,  the  diet  of  such  a  large  and  widely  distributed 
group  of  birds  is  of  more  economic  importance  to  man  than 
might  at  first  appear.  Thrushes  eat  many  other  pests 
besides  the  beetle.  They  also  eat  certain  fruits  and  berries 
of  value  to  the  farmer.  It  is,  therefore,  important  to  find  out 
just  how  many  destructive  and  how  many  valuable  things 
thrushes  eat  in  order  to  determine  whether  these  birds  should 
be  discouraged  or  encouraged.  The  report  of  the  scientists 
who  have  spent  considerable  time  on  the  problem  has  been 
in  favor  of  the  thrushes. 

The  fruit  raiser  as  well  as  the  farmer  may  well  be  interested 
in  knowing  exactly  what  is  the  ordinary  food  of  the  thrushes. 
According  to  the  scientists  their  diet  is  quite  varied.  Some 
idea  of  it  may  be  obtained  from  the  following  menu  which 
the  average  thrush  would  enjoy,  although  he  would  hardly 
sample  all  the  items  at  one  meal. 


Spiders.  Snails.  Grasshoppers. 

Ante.  Angle  worms. 


(Choice  varying  according  to  thrush.) 

Potato  beetle.  Plum  curculio.  Clover-leaf  weevil. 

May  beetle.  Corn  weevil.        Spotted  squash  beetle. 

Alfalfa  weevil. 


Army  worm.  "Cutworm."  Yellow  bear. 

Codling  moth.         Yellow-necked  appleworm.        Cabbage  worm. 

American  Thrushes  Valuable  Bird  Neighbors.         139 


Chinch  bug.  Black  olive  scale.  Seventeen  year  locust. 


Apples.  Grapes.  Raspberries. 

Apricots.  Currants.  Strawberries. 

Cherries.  Blackberries.  Figs. 


Dogwood.  Poison  ivy. 

Mountain  ash.  Virginia  creeper. 

Choke  berry.  Holly. 



By  examining  the  above  list  one  may  see  that  the  thrushes 
destroy  many  dangerous  pests.  The  newly  imported  alfalfa 
weevil,  which  has  committed  ravages  in  the  West,  has  already 
been  selected  by  robins  as  a  choice  article  of  diet.  The  May 
beetle  in  "the  above  menu  is  the  parent  of  the  well-known 
white  grub  and  is  most  destructive  to  grass. 

Ants  have  an  unpleasant  habit  of  fastening  their  jaws  to 
anything  that  disturbs  them,  so  the  thrushes'  fondness  for 
them  may  be  wondered  at,  though  there  are  other  bird 
families  fond  of  ants.  Ants  are  of  very  doubtful  value  to 
rural  communities.  Several  kinds  of  ants  render  service  as 
scavengers,  but  hundreds  of  other  varieties  are  very  harmful. 
The  so-called  ant  "cow"  is  a  parasite  most  harmful  to 
valuable  plants.  The  ants  protect  these  parasites  during  the 
entire  year  and  thus  aid  them  in  their  injurious  work.  Some- 
one has  described  the  ant  as  ' '  the  little  black  milkmaid  that 
pastures  her  cow  on  a  roseleaf." 

Practically  all  caterpillars  are  harmful,  and  if  it  were  not' 
for  nature's  check  on  their  rapid  multiplication  there  would 
soon  be  no  trees  in  the  land,  for  their  leaves  would  all  be 
eaten  by  caterpillars.  Thrushes  are  nearly  unanimous  in 
their  fondness  for  this  soft,  juicy  article  of  diet,  and  in  quan- 
tity it  makes  up  about  one-tenth  of  their  entire  bill  of  fare. 

As  for  the  grasshoppers,  they  are  considered  particularly 
delicious  in  midsummer,  when  they  are  of  rather  soft  tex- 
ture. They  are  abundant,  easily  obtained,  and  are  eaten  by 
the  great  majority  of  birds.     The  thrushes,  however,  have  not 

140  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

the  same  fondness  for  them  as  for  caterpillars.  The  three 
bluebirds,  which  seem  to  be  the  biggest  eaters,  are  fondest  of 
them,  and  one-fifth  of  their  food  consists  of  this  insect. 
Other  members  of  the  thrush  family  eat  them  only  on  special 
occasions.  It  is  hardly  necessary  to  comment  on  the  harm 
that  grasshoppers  might  do  to  crops  if  it  were  not  for  birds 
that  prey  on  them. 

The  quantity  of  so-called  "bugs"  eaten  by  thrushe3  is 
relatively  small.  However,  considering  their  undesirable 
quality,  it  is  important  to  note  this  item.  The  chinch  bug, 
in  particular,  is  a  most  harmful  enemy  of  the  wheat  crop. 
The  black  olive  scale  and  the  17-year  locust  are  most  dan- 
gerous to  fruit  and  forest  trees,  and  their  elimination  is  to 
be  desired. 

Spiders  would  not  seem  to  be  an  appetizing  food,  but  are 
fairly  well  liked  by  the  thrush.  About  4  per  cent  of  the 
average  food  of  the  thrush  family  is  spiders.  The  wood 
thrush,  veery,  and  hermit  thrush  eat  about  twice'  the  aver- 
age amount,  whilo  the  robin  very  rarely  cares  for  spiders. 

The  snail  naturally  falls  a  prey  to  the  thrush  when  he 
seeks  out  dark,  shady  nooks  for  a  drink  at  some  spring,  and 
finds  this  tempting  morsel  awaiting  him.  The  Oregon  robin, 
however,  is  the  only  thrush  that  is  really  a  snail  epicure. 

The  fruit  and  berry  diet  of  the  American  thrush,  while  it 
contains  certain  items  relished  by  human  beings,  is  largely 
made  up  of  articles  that  would  be  very  disagreeable,  if  not 
dangerous,  for  human  consumption.  The  reason  certain 
wild  berries  are  found  along  farm  fences,  as  though  espe- 
cially planted  there,  is  that  the  original  seeds  were  dropped 
by  birds  resting  on  the  fences. 


Thrushes,  like  many  people,  are  fond  of  novelties  of  diet. 
They  will  eat  an  unusual  quantity  of  something  new,  and 
then  finally  go  back  to  their  former  diet,  leaving  the  novelty  . 
alone.  When  certain  fruits  were  first  introduced  in  Califor- 
nia the  birds  did  so  much  damage  to  them  that  it  was  thought 
that  the  crop  would  be  unprofitable  because  of  them.  Sev- 
eral years  later,  however,  the  birds  settled  down  and  both- 
ered the  orchards  very  little.  The  same  thing  happened 
when  grapes  were  first  grown  in  Texas.     The  first  year  the 

American  Thrushes  Valuable  Bird  Neighbors.         141 

birds  gorged  themselves  on  grapes,  but  later  on  they  seemed 
sated  with  this  nov.elty  and  caused  little  appreciable  damage. 

In  general,  the  thrushes  as  a  group  do  little  injury  to  the 
fruit  crop.  These  birds  visit  swamps  and  underbrush  in 
preference  to  orchards  and  gardens  when  looking  for  fruits 
and  berries.  In  some  cases  where  cities  are  built  up  the 
thrush  is  compelled  to  go  to  orchards  for  its  vegetable  diet, 
as  there  are  no  wild  berries. 

In  New  Jersey  it  has  been  found  that  if  wild  berries  are 
planted  around  cultivated  berries  the  thrushes  will  show 
such  a  preference  for  the  former  that  they  will  scarcely 
touch  the  latter.  Some  thrushes  also  prefer  fallen  fruit  to 
that  still  on  the  trees,  even  though  the  latter  is  better  from 
our  point  of  view.  Under  ordinary  conditions  of  country 
life  wild  fruits  are  so  abundant  that  thrushes  seldom  tres- 
.  pass  upon  cultivated  varieties. 

Of  all  the  thrushes  the  popular  robin,  under  exceptional 
conditions  as  above  described,  is  the  greatest  destroyer  of 
fruit.  It  must  be  remembered,  however,  that  during  the 
earlier  season  he  steadily  works  to  help  make  that  crop  a 
possibility.  When  the  fruit  ripens,  the  robin  has  already 
a  standing  account  with  the  farmer  for  services  rendered, 
for  he  has  been  eating  injurious  insects  and  taking  them 
in  the  very  act  of  harming  the  tree. 



When  robins  are  too  numerous  they  may,  of  course, 
overdraw  their  account,  but  it  is  sometimes  difficult  to 
determine  whether  they  have  actually  done  so.  'They  may 
not  even  be  condemned  for  a  whole  year's  showing,  because 
their  services  to  the  farmer  in  several  previous  years  may 
far  more  than  offset  the  bad  record  of  one.  Also  a  bird 
that  has  done  damage  to  one  crop,  as  for  instance  cherries, 
may  merely  be  taking  his  pay  for  protecting  other  crops 
of  greater  value. 

It  must  also  be  borne  in  mind  that  birds  may  be  fostered  by 
so  much  human  care  and  protection  that  they  become  so 

142  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

plentiful  that  the  available  supply  of  insects  and  wild  fruits 
will  not  feed  them.  They  are  then  naturally  forced  to  seek  the 
orchards  for  sustenance.  Under  normal  conditions  nature 
arranges  that  when  insect  and  berry  supplies  are  rare  the 
birds  decrease  in  number;  when  the  insect  pests  become  more 
numerous  the  number  of  birds  increases. 

In  any  case,  when  thrushes  become  troublesome  an  effec- 
tive remedy  may  usually  be  found.  Devices  for  frightening 
birds  are  always  better  than  thos'e  for  destroying  them. 
Scarecrows  will  probably  frighten  the  thrushes  from  the 
vicinity,  and  certain  fruit^bearing  shrubs  planted  about  the 
dooryard  will  attract  them  from  the  cultivated  crops.  De- 
stroying the  birds  will  do  more  harm  than  good  in  the  long 

The  biologists  have  encountered  much  difficulty  in  deter- 
mining the  thrush  menu  set  forth  above.  Formerly  it  was  the 
custom  to  watch  birds  and  make  more  or  less  satisfactory 
guesses  as  to  what  they  were  eating;  now,  instead,  the 
stomachs  of  a  sufficient  number  of  birds  are  examined  to 
enable  the  investigators  to  draw  general  conclusions.  In 
some  cases  very  strange  things  were  found  in  the  stomachs 
of  thrushes.  The  shell  of  something  that  puzzled  one 
investigator  proved  to  be  the  jaw  of  a  caterpillar.  Some- 
times an  indigestible  part  of  a  vegetable  would  turn  up 
which  had  not  been  eaten  directly  by  the  thrush,  but  by  an 
insect  which  the  thrush  had  eaten  in  turn.  It  has  taken 
several  years  sometimes  to  determine  positively  that  certain 
articles  of  diet  are  generally  eaten  by  thrushes.  The  pains- 
taking work  of  the  ornithologists  has,  however,  eventually 
given  us  the  complete  menu  which  is  of  such  importance  in 
determining  the  status  of  this  bird  family. 

On  the  whole,  thrushes  make  interesting  and  valuable  bird 
neighbors  to  our  farmers.  They  are  a  sociably  inclined  family, 
usually  selecting  by  preference  places  where  man  has  taken 
up  his  abode.  Their  presence  and  their  songs  are  very 
generally  welcome.  Economically  they  are  valuable  little 
neighbors  as  well. 


By  C.  F.  Langwoethy, 
Chief  of  Nutrition  Investigations,  Office  of  Experiment  Stations. 


THE  Department  of  Agriculture  in  its  varied  activities 
comes  very  close  to  the  life  of  the  people,  not  only  of 
those  who  produce  the  crops,  but  also  of  those  who  convert  the 
raw  materials  of  agriculture  into  finished  products  and  of 
those  who  use  them.  Its  interests  extend  to  the  town  as  well 
as  to  the  country  and  to  the  home  as  well  as  to  the  farm.. 

So  long  as  the  housekeeper  shared  in  the  outdoor  activities 
of  the  home  and  helped  to  produce  the  commodities  she 
used  she  combined  in  herself  the  functions  of  producer,  in- 
spector, caterer,  and  user.  She  then  had  little  need  to  discuss 
with  others  either  the  nature  or  the  uses  of  the  materials  she 
handled.  Her  chief  need  was  for  technical  skilk  and  this 
was  received  directly  from  her  mother  and  in  turn  passed 
on  to  her  daughter  without  the  aid  of  outside  educational 
agencies.  When,  however,  under  new  conditions  it  came 
about  that  she  bought  a  large  part  of  the  commodities  she 
used,  as  is  now  the  case  even  in  isolated  rural  districts,  it 
became  necessary  for  her  to  express  her  desires  with  reference 
to  the  characteristics  and  qualities  of  the  commodities  she 
bought.  The  result,  therefore,  of  the  increasing  importance 
of  the  home  maker  as  a  consumer  of  the  products  of  agri- 
culture was  a  new  demand  on  her  part— not  so  much  a 
demand  for  new  commodities  as  for  knowledge  and  a  de- 
mand for  information  which  would  help  the  family  to  meet 
certain  world-old  needs.  The  housekeeper  has  been  asking 
for  information  on  many  home  matters.  She  has  sought 
to  learn  the  effects  of  cooking  upon  the  nutritive  value  of 
foods;  she  has  asked  what  constituents  are  needed  for  an 
adequate  and  proper  diet  for  her  family  and  what  foods  are 
particularly  suited  to  the  needs  of  children;  she  has  sought 
to  know  the  comparative  strength  and  wearing  quality  of 
various  textiles  used  for  clothing  and  for  house  furnishings, 


144  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

and  the  best  methods  of  cleaning  and  preserving  such  tex- 
tiles; she  has  sought  help  in  matters  connected  with  house- 
hold sanitation,  such  as  water  supply,  plumbing,  heating, 
ventilating,  and  lighting;  she  has  been  aroused  to  an  interest 
in  the  problems  of  efficiency,  and  is  looking  for  sources  of 
reliable  information,  not  only  about  the  relative  value  of 
various  kinds  of  textiles,  but  also  about  the  comparative 
amounts  of  energy  required  for  performing  household  tasks 
by  different  methods. 

Housekeepers  are  also  seeking  help  in  conducting  those 
household  industries  which  still  remain  in  the  home  and 
which  usually  fall  to  the  lot  of  women.  They  are  seeking 
the  best  methods  not  only  in  cooking,  sewing,  and  house- 
keeping, but  also  in  poultry  raising,  flower  gardening,  mar- 
.  ket  gardening,  and  beekeeping.  In  their  philanthropic  and 
charitable  activities  also,  which  are  rapidly  taking  the  form 
of  what  is  known  as  "social  service,"  women  are  recogniz- 
ing the  need  for  definite  kinds  of  information.  They  are 
finding  that  in  helping  to  solve  the  many  problems  which 
affect  the  home  and  community  they  need  to  know  the  cost 
of  living  and  factors  which  influence  it  and  to  compare 
expenditures  with  income.  This  is  true  whether  they  inter- 
est themselves  in  such  fields  of  work  outside  the  home,  as 
membership  on  the  boards  of  orphan  asylums  and  other 
public  institutions,  as  managers  of  boarding  clubs  and  homes 
for  students,  and  in  such  enterprises  as  the  serving  of  lunch- 
eons for  school  children  either  as  a  philanthropic  measure 
or  for  other  reasons.  They  are  realizing  that  it  is  necessary 
to  have  some  definite  information  about  such  matters  as  the 
amount  of  nourishment  which  can  be  bought  for  a  given  sum, 
the  wearing  quality  of  textiles,  and  the  relation  of  housing 
conditions  to  health. 

Agriculture  supplies  the  bulk  of  the  raw  materials  used  in 
the  home  for  food,  for  clothing,  and  for  household  equip- 
ment. Since  the  Department  of  Agriculture  gives  attention 
not  only  to  problems  of  production  and  distribution,  but  also 
to  problems  of  consumption,  and  since,  all  things  considered, 
the  home  is  the  greatest  consumer  of  the  products  of  farm  and 
garden,  it  is  inevitable  that  information  should  be  forthcom- 
ing from  the  department  which  will  help  to  solve  many  of  the 
housekeeper's  problems.    The  interdependence  of  agricultural 

The  Department  of  Agriculture  and  the  Housekeeper.      145 

interests  and  home  problems  has  also  resulted  in  work  in  the 
Department  of  Agriculture  undertaken  particularly  to  meet 
the  housewife's  needs  and  to  insure  a  better  utilization  of 
agricultural  products  in  the  home.  A  survey  of  the  work  of 
the  department  will  show  that  it  is  not  the  case,  as  some- 
times claimed,  that  the  National  Government  bends  its 
energies  solely  to  the  study  of  man's  activities  and  overlooks 
the  housewife  and  her  problems. 


Broadly  speaking,  the  Department  of  Agriculture  is  con- 
cerned with  such  matters  as  the  production  of  crops,  timber, 
and  flocks  and  herds,  with  studies  of  plant  and  animal 
.  diseases  and  their  control,  with  the  establishment  of  stand- 
ards of  quality,  with  the  protection  of  agricultural  products 
from  adulteration,  with  the  processes  for  converting  raw 
products  of  agriculture  into  finished  products  ready  for  use, 
wi'th  insect  enemies  and  their  control,  with  agricultural  engi- 
neering problems,  with  rural  economics,  with  rural  life  and 
activities,  and  with  educational  problems  pertaining  to  all  of 
these.  Information  is  gathered  in  the  field,  in  the  labora- 
tory, and  in  other  ways,  and  the  results  are  spread  broadcast 
by  means  of  publications,  demonstration  work,  correspond- 
ence, personal  contact,  and  teaching,  the  last  largely  through 
extension  work,  through  the  agricultural  colleges,  and 
through  other  organized  methods  of  education. 

In  answering  the  questions  which  arise  in  the  minds  of  the 
producers  on  the  farms  the  investigator  almost  inevitably 
furnishes  information  about  the  commodities  which  the 
housekeepers  buy  and  use  and  whose  composition  they  should 
understand.  Help  for  the  housekeeper,  who  directs  the 
spending  of  the  family  income,  or,  as  the  economist  would 
put  it,  represents  consumption,  is,  in  fact,  not  only  one  of  the 
inevitable  by-products,  but  one  of  the  very  valuable  main 
products  of  agricultural  research,  and  is  clearly  recognized 
as  such  by  the  department. 


It  is  interesting  to  consider  in  some  detail  som'e  of  the  ways 
in  which  the  work  of  the  department  contributes  to  the 
housekeeper's  fund  of  useful  informaton. 

27306°— YBK  1913 10 

146  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

Through  the  Bureau  of  Animal  Industry  the  department 
studies  the  breeding  and  feeding  of  farm  animals  and  the 
questions  pertaining  thereto.  It  carries  on  this  work  pri- 
marily for  the  purpose  of  assisting  those  who  depend  for  their 
livelihood  upon  the  raising  of  stock,  but  the  stock  is  raised 
in  order  that  we  may  be  supplied  with  meat,  milk,  butter 
and  eggs,  wool  for  clothing,  and  leather  for  shoes.  Improv- 
ing the  production  of  farm  stock  means  a  larger  and  better 
supply  of  these  products.  This  bureau  interests  itself  in  the 
handling  of  milk,  primarily  to  benefit  the  dairy  business,  but 
the  effort  for  cleaner  dairies  and  more  sanitary  methods 
of  handling  milk  benefits  all  who  use  this  important  foodstuff 
and  the  products  made  from  it,  and  enables  the  housekeeper 
better  to  protect  her  family,  and  particularly  her  children, 
from  disease.  The  Bureau  of  Animal  Industry  also  investi- 
gates the  existence  of  communicable  diseases  among  live 
stock,  studies  their  nature,  causes,  and  prevention,  and  takes 
measures  to  wipe  them  out.  This  obviously  benefits  the 
farmer.  In  this  and  in  its  meat-inspection  work  it  also  safe- 
guards the  home  by  insuring  a  wholesome  supply  of  animal 
products  used  as  food. 

The  Bureau  of  Chemistry,  among  its  other  activities,  has 
studied  the  composition  of  thousands  of  materials  used  in  the 
home  and  many  processes  for  converting  the  raw  materials 
of  agriculture  into  finished  products.  One  has  but  to  remem- 
ber its  extended  studies  of  sugar,  of  bread  and  breadstuffs, 
of  commercial  food  products,  and  so  on,  to  realize  how  closely 
the  results  concern  the  home.  The  same  could  be  said  of  its 
studies  of  fruits  and  their  preservation,  of  storage  and  its 
relation  to  quality,  and  of  the  extended  activities  which  have 
resulted  in  the  establishment  of  food  standards  and  the  car- 
rying out  of  the  provisions  of  the  National  pure  food  law. 
Of  great  importance  are  the  methods  for  research  which  have 
been  developed  by  this  bureau,  and  here,  as  in  many  more 
lines  of  its  work,  it  will  be  found  that  it  has  made  a  very  large 
contribution  to  the  fund  of  information  of  use  to  the  house- 

The  Bureau  of  Plant  Industry  could  not  labor  as  it  does  to 
increase  the  yield  of  crops  which  are  used  for  food  either  for 
man  or  for  live  stock,  and  to  protect  plants  from  injurious 
diseases,  without  aiding  the  housekeeper  in  her  efforts  to 

The  Department  of  Agriculture  and  the  Housekeeper.      147 

obtain  a  good  and  varied  food  supply  for  her  family.  It  could 
not  bring  into  the  United  States  and  domesticate  food  plants 
which  have  proved  acceptable  in  other  countries  without 
helping  the  housekeeper  in  her  efforts  to  secure  pleasing  vari- 
ety in  her  bills  of  fare,  as  well  as  helping  the  farmer  to  profit- 
ably extend  his  activities.  A  study  of  farm  accounts  has 
also  been  begun,  which  includes  records  of  household  expend- 
itures. To  cite  another  instance  out  of  many,  the  girls'  home 
garden  and  canning  club  work  directly  benefits  the  home  and 
the  housekeeper.  Designed  originally  to  teach  girls  how  to 
grow  a  crop,  learn  its  uses,  and  preserve  a  surplus  for  winter 
use,  the  work  has  extended  to  methods  of  canning  for  mar- 
ket, and  not  only  has  started  an  interest  in  improved  methods 
of  housekeeping  in  a  great  number  of  homes,  but  has  enabled 
many  girls  to  earn  money  for  further  study. 

The  Bureau  of  Entomology,  through  its  study  of  insects 
and  their  relation  to  man,  is  the  housekeeper's  best  aid  in  her 
warfare  against  flies,  mosquitoes,  ants,  moths,  and  other 
insects  which  carry  filth,  transmit  disease  from  one  home  to 
another,  or  destroy  materials  and  household  equipment. 

The  Office  of  Public  Roads  can  not  carry  on  its  activities 
without  benefiting  the  home  and  the  community  as  well  as 
agricultural  interests,  for  by  improving  the  condition  of  roads 
it  brings  the  home  into  closer  communication  with  market, 
school,  library,  church,  and  social  centers. 

The  Department  of  Agriculture  Library,  through  its  bibli- 
ographies and  other  publications  and  its  close  relations  with 
teachers  and  others  who  seek  information  through  published 
data,  reaches  the  student  of  housekeeping  as  directly  as  the 
student  of  agriculture. 

The  Office  of  Experiment  Stations  has  been  studying  prob- 
lems which  pertain  to  agricultural  education,  and  more  and 
more,  as  the  years  have  passed  and  information  has  accumu- 
lated, agricultural  education  has  come  to  include  the  activi- 
ties of  the  home  as  well  as  the  activities  of  the  farm;  so  much 
so  that  at  the  present  time  home  economics  is  included  in 
the  curricula  of  a  large  proportion  of  the  agricultural  col- 
leges. It  is  worth  noting  that  educational  work  on  these  lines 
is  by  no  means  limited  to  this  group  of  institutions.  Indeed, 
in  educational  movements  of  recent  years  nothing  is  more 
marked  than  the  increased  attention  which  is  given  to  the 

148  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

study  of  plant  and  animal  life  and  to  home  economics.  No 
one  realizes  more  clearly  than  the  teachers  of  these  subjects  in 
secondary  schools,  normal  schools,  colleges,  and  universities 
and  the  authors  of  textbooks  intended  for  their  use,  how 
much  the  Department  of  Agriculture  has  contributed  to  the 
fundamental  data  used  in  the  classroom. 

Such  statements  might  be  extended  and  instances  multi- 
plied of  ways  in  which  these  and  other  units  of  the  Depart- 
ment of  Agriculture  render  assistance  to  the  housekeeper, 
as  a  result  of  its  efforts  to  aid  in  the  production,  protection, 
and  distribution  of  agricultural  crops  and  the  products 
made  from  them,  and  its  related  activities. 


In  addition  to  such  work  the  department  has  for  more  than 
20  years  carried  on  work  which  relates  directly  to  the  home 
and  its  activities,  through  the  nutrition  investigations  of 
the  Office  of  Experiment  Stations,  undertaken  especially  to 
study  the  utilization  in  the  home  of  agricultural  food  prod- 
ucts, both  animal  and  vegetable. 

Early  in  the  work  the  composition  and  nutritive  value 
of  the  more  common  American  foodstuffs  were  investigated. 
Following  this  work  came  studies  of  the  kind  and  amounts 
of  food  used  by  American  families  of  different  occupations 
and  incomes,  which,  with  studies  of  the  laws  of  nutrition, 
furnished  information  regarding  the  kind  and  amounts  of 
food  needed  by  men,  women,  and  children  of  different  ages 
and  activities,  and  helped  in  the  formulation  of  dietary  stand- 
ards which  express  these  needs  in  definite  terms.  Many 
studies  have  also  been  made  of  the  thoroughness  of  digestion 
of.  different  foodstuffs,  and  as  a  result  a  large  fund  of  infor- 
mation is  available  regarding  the  digestibility  of  a  great 
variety  of  materials.  The  changes  brought  about  in  animal 
and  vegetable  foods  by  cooking  processes  have  also  received 
attention,  and  the  effect  of  cooking  upon  digestibility.  An 
important  side  of  the  work  has  been  the  development  of 
methods  and  apparatus,  including  the  bomb  calorimeter  and 
the  respiration  calorimeter,  for  use  in  the  study  of  these  ques- 
tions. Information  has  been  collected,  classified,  and  stand- 
ardized regarding  the  care  of  food  in  the  home,  home  canning 

The  Department  of  Agriculture  and  the  Housekeeper.      149 

and  preserving,  and  preparing  foods  for  the  table.  The  study 
of  these  questions  has  involved  cost  considerations  and  the 
planning  of  meals  which  will  adequately  meet  family  needs 
as  well  as  please  the  palate,  and  other  similar  questions. 
Incidentally,  much  information  has  been  gathered  regard- 
ing household  sanitation,  household  conveniences,  and  other 
household  problems. 

It  has  been  the  object  to  collect  facts  which  would  explain 
household  processes  and  to  provide  exact  data  which  could 
be  formulated  and  passed  on  for  practical  as  well  as  scientific 
use.  All  this  work  has  been  designed  not  to  supplant  but 
to  supplement  empirical,  practical  knowledge  which  house- 
keepers have  gained  from  uncounted  years  of  experience  and 
passed  on  from  mother  to  daughter. 

Such  investigations  as  those  enumerated  bear  the  same 
relation  to  housekeepers'  problems  that  systematic  technical 
study  bears  to  other  industries.  Commercial  activities  were 
long  ago  studied  by  scientific  methods,  since  it  had  been 
found  that  gaining  knowledge  by  experience  is  much  more 
costly  than  gaining  it  by  systematic  study.  Much  more 
recently  we  have  come  to  realize  that  it  is  equally  possible 
to  study  the  housekeeper's  problems  by  laboratory  methods. 
Yet  so  useful  has  such  work  been  found,  that  now  the 
housekeeper  consults  the  investigator  as  naturally  as  the 
manufacturer  does  the  engineering  expert.  And  it  is  as  true 
as  it  is  in  the  case  of  business  enterprises  that  systematic 
study  is  needed  to  furnish  the  broad  foundation  on  which 
improvements  in  household  operations  should  be  based. 

The  results  of  the  nutrition  investigations  have  been 
published  in  technical  bulletins,  some  50  in  number,  designed 
for  the  investigator  and  the  teacher,  and  in  about  the  same 
number  of  Farmers'  Bulletins  and  other  popular  publica- 
tions, which  summarize  the  laboratory  research  and  general 
data  gathered  from  other  sources,  in  a  form  designed  to 
meet  the  housekeeper's  needs.  That  this  has  actually  been 
the  case  is  indicated  by  the  very  large  demand  for  these 
publications  from  housekeepers,  teachers,  and  others  inter- 
ested in  home  problems,  and  by  the  rapidly  growing  corre- 
spondence between  housekeepers  and  the  Department  of 
Agriculture.     Just  as  the  farmer  turns  to  the  Department 

150  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

of  Agriculture  and  his  experiment  station  for  information, 
so  the  housekeeper  seeks  answers  to  her  problems  from  the 
Department  of  Agriculture. 

The  Farmers'  Bulletins  referred  to  aboye  have  covered  a 
great  variety  of  topics,  such  as  the  food  value  of  milk,  sugar, 
bread,  meats,  fruits,  vegetables,  and  eggs;  bread  and  bread 
making;  the  economical  use  of  meat  in  the  home;  cheese 
and  its  economical  uses  in  the  diet;  mutton  and  its  value 
in  the  diet;  canned  fruits,  preserves,  and  jellies  (household 
methods  of  preparation);  the  preparation  of  vegetables  for 
the  table;  corn  meal  and  its  uses  in  the  diet;  kafir  corn  and 
cowpeas  and  ways  of  using  them;  and  the  care  of  food  in 
the  home. 

Some  of  the  other  popular  publications  which  have 
appeared  have  had  to  do  with  food  customs  and  diet  in 
American  homes,  with  green  vegetables  and  their  value  as 
foodstuffs,  and  with  raisins,  figs,  and  other  dried  fruits  and 
their  uses  in  the  diet. 

In  connection  with  information  concerning  the  nature  and 
uses  of  foods  and  scientific  data  about  them,  recipes  are 
often  included  for  preparing  foods  for  the  table.  These  re- 
cipes are  gathered  from  many  sources;  they  are  carefully 
compared  and  those  are  selected  for  study  which  represent 
essentially  different  modes  of  preparation.  Those  chosen  are 
modified  when  necessary  and  are  carefully  tested  and  stand- 
ardized before  they  are  published. 

The  demand  for  technical  information  has  been  larger  than 
the  supply  in  most  cases.  For  the  popular  publications  it 
has  been  very  large  indeed,  as  may  be  seen  from  the  fact  that 
to  date  over  twelve  million  of  the  Farmers'  Bulletins  on  food 
and  nutrition  topics  have  been  needed  to  meet  the  requests 
for  them  from  housekeepers,  teachers,  students,  and  others, 
which  is  an  average  of  more  than  1  bulletin  for  every  10  per- 
sons of  the  ninetjr-odd  millions  making  up  the  population 
of  the  United  States.  The  demand  for  circulars  and  other 
popular  publications  on  the  subject  has  been  correspond- 
ingly great. 

A  publication  designed  to  help  the  housekeeper  as  well  as 
the  student  to  understand  the  relative  value  of  different  foods 
is  the  series  of  15  food  and  diet  charts  printed  in  color  and 
showing  in  graphic  form  the  composition  of  the  common 

The  Department  of  Agriculture  and  the  Housekeeper.      151 

food  materials  and  summarizing  some  fundamental  data 
regarding  nutrition  and  dietary  standards.  These  charts 
might  be  called  "food  maps,"  since  they  show,  in  a  simple 
way,  the  kind  and  proportion  of  nutrients  present  in  com- 
mon food  materials  as  well  as  their  value  as  sources  of  energy 
for  body  needs. 

The  inquiry  naturally  arises,  Can  the  results  of  investiga- 
tions and  publications  such  as  those  enumerated  be  used  to 
the  housekeeper's  advantage,  and  are  they  desired?  The 
proof  that  they  are  so  used  is  found  in  the  growing  interest 
in  the  subject,  in  the  increased  demand  for  more  work  of 
broader  scope,  and,  most  directly  of  all,  in  the  very  numerous 
letters  received  from  housekeepers  and  home  makers  giving 
their  opinions  as  to  the  work  and  its  importance.  An  an- 
swer to  the  first  part  of  the  question  raised  can  be  given  by 
citing  some  illustrations  of  ways  in  which  such  data  on  sub- 
jects related  to  the  home  have  contributed  to  the  solution 
of  home  problems,,  and  in  the  following  pages  attention  is 
directed  to  some  matters  of  interest  to  the  housekeeper  which 
are  discussed  on  the  basis  of  results  obtained  in  the  depart- 
ment's studies  of  nutrition. 


Perhaps  no  subject  is  of  more  interest  to  the  housekeeper 
than  the  preparation  of  lood  materials  which  are  palatable 
as  well  as  adequate  and  nourishing.  It  need  hardly  be  said 
that  to  be  thoroughly  satisfactory  a  diet  must  do  more  than 
furnish  sufficient  building  material  and  energy  to  meet  the 
needs  of  the  body.  It  must  also  furnish  the  material  in  a 
form  in  which  the  body  can  make  use  of  it  without  disturbing 
the  digestive  organs  and  must  be  made  up  of  wholesome  ma- 
terials, well  prepared,  and  must  be  palatable,  in  accord  with 
rational  dietary  habits,  and  reasonable  in  cost  as  compared 
with  available  income.  Individual  food  materials  differ 
somewnat  in  the  ease  and  readiness  with  which  their  nutri- 
ents can  be  turned  to  account  in  the  body,  but  with  healthy 
persons  these  differences  are  less  significant  than  is  commonly 
supposed.  Proper  preparation  is  very  important,  for  the 
illness  caused  by  bad  cooking  must  be  very  great.  Some  peo- 
ple imagine  that  there  is  no  particular  advantage  in  making 

152  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

a  diet  attractive  beyond  the  mere  gratification  of  appetite, 
but  physiologists  think  differently,  for  scientific  research  has 
shown  that  appetizing  diets  actually  stimulate  the  action  of 
digestion.  Variety  in  food  is  a  great  aid  in  making  meals 
appetizing  and  also  serves  to  insure  a  supply  of  all  the  chemi- 
cal ingredients  needed. 

To  say  that  a  family  bill  of  fare  must  be  appetizing  and 
varied  does  not  necessarily  mean  that  it  must  be  costly  as 
well.  At  first  sight,  it  might  seem  difficult  to  secure  these 
qualities  without  buying  rather  expensive  materials  or  serv- 
ing very  fancy  dishes,  but  the  theory  does  not  hold  in  the 
case  of  food  any  more  than  in  that  of  clothing  and  house  fur- 
nishings. A  hoiise  furnished  without  regard  to  expense  and 
also  without  intelligence  and  taste  may  be  a  dreary  place  after 
all,  while  one  furnished  with  inexpensive  materials,  chosen  by 
a  person  of  experience  and  taste,  may  be  really  beautiful.  In 
the  same  way,  meals  do  not  need  to  be  made  up  of  elaborate 
dishes  or  delicacies  in  order  to  be  attractive.  Indeed,  the 
staple  food  materials  skillfully  combined  and  simply  but  at- 
tractively prepared  are  more  pleasing  in  the  long  run  than 
elaborate  living,  and  more  wholesome  as  well.  Just  as  the 
test  of  a  woman's  ability  in  dress  is  to  get  suitable  and  attrac- 
tive effects  with  relatively  low  expense,  so  the  test  of  her  ca- 
tering ability  is  to  give  her  family  an  ample  supply  of  whole- 
some and  pleasantly  varied  meals  with  an  outlay  of  money 
and  time  proportionate  to  her  income  and  circumstances. 
There  is  nothing  new  in  this  ideal;  good  housekeepers  have 
always  tried  to  realize  it,  and,  though  they  may  have  been  un- 
conscious of  its  physiological  significance,  have  handed  down 
the  tradition  of  such  suitably  balanced  combinations  of  food 
materials  from  generation  to  generation.  The  novelty  lies  in 
the  fact  that  science  is  just  catching  up  with  the  home  makers 
and  is  finding  the  reasons  for  some  of  the  old  beliefs,  testing 
all,  that  the  useful  may  be  retained,  adding  to  the  store  of 
useful  fact  regarding  materials  and  processes,  and  formulating 
the  results  of  experience  and  experiment  in  such  a  way  that 
they  may  be  passed  on  to  those  who  need  the  knowledge. 
This  has  an  advantage  over  tradition  only  in  that  it  substi- 
tutes exact  for  general  data.  It  also  enables  the  teacher  to 
formulate  knowledge  so  that  it  may  be  used  in  the  classroom. 
Not  only  may  the  home  maker,  if  for  any  reason  she  has  not 

The  Department  of  Agriculture  and  the  Housekeeper.      153 

learned  her  art  from  the  older  women  in  her  family,  correct 
the  deficiency  by  the  study  of  publications  dealing  with  home- 
making  topics,  classes  for  home  study,  etc.,  but,  more  impor- 
tant still,  the  young  generation,  facing  as  it  does  new  condi- 
tions of  living,  can  be  grounded  in  the  schools  in  the  principles 
and  practices  of  home  making  adapted  to  those  conditions. 

Variety  in  the  diet  can  be  secured  both  by  providing  differ- 
ent kinds  of  food  and  by  preparing  staple  foods  in  different 
ways,  and  the  best  results  are  obtained  by  combining  both 
methods.  When  the  housekeeper  studies  the  list  of  common 
foods  and  the  combinations  made  from  them,  she  will  prob- 
ably find  that  as  regards  their  place  in  the  menu  they  fall  into 
two  general  groups — those  which,  like  bread,  potatoes,  milk, 
eggs,  etc.,  have  little  distinctive  taste,  and  those  which,  like 
cheese,  seasoning  vegetables,  some  sweets,  cooked  meats, 
etc.,  have  marked  and  individual  flavor.  She  will  further 
find  that  the  mild-flavored  materials  are  the  ones  which  are 
used  in  the  greatest  quantities,  meal  after  meal,  while  those 
of  pronounced  taste  appear  in  smaller  amounts;  or  some  of 
them  only  occasionally.  To  put  it  in  another  way,  she  will 
depend  largely  on  the  first  group  to  make  up  the  bulk  of  her 
dietary,  and  on  the  second  to  vary  it.  In  cookery,  some  foods 
require  only  simple  methods  to  make  them  very  palatable. 
Tender  steaks,  or  chops,  in  cooking,  develop  delicious  meat 
flavors  and  require  no  highly  flavored  vegetable  seasoning  or 
condiments  to  make  them  palatable.  In  themselves  they 
furnish  flavor  sufficient  to  accompany  potatoes,  rice,  or  other 
foods  of  mild  flavor.  On  the  other  hand,  in  stews  and  other 
dishes  made  from  the  cheaper  cuts  of  meat,  carrots,  onions, 
or  other  distinctive  flavor  is  usually  added  to  supplement  that 
of  the  meat  flavor,  for  the  cheaper  cuts  are  not  usually  of  such 
a  texture  that  the  best  results  can  be  secured  by  such  simple 
methods  as  broiling  or  roasting.  Children's  preference  for 
bread  and  butter  with  jam  is  explained  by  their  unconscious 
desire  to  add  flavor  to  bulk.  The  housekeeper  who  makes  a 
dish  composed  of  cheese  and  macaroni,  or  of  meat  and  rice  or 
potato,  etc.,  applies  the  same  principle.  The  great  varietv 
of  pickles,  preserves,  and  elaborate  pastry  which  American 
housekeepers  used  to  consider  necessary  represented  another 
instinctive  effort  to  vary,  by  adding  flavor,  the  monotonv 
which  was  inevitable,  particularly  in  winter  fare,  before  the 

154  Yearbook  of  ike  Department  of  Agriculture. 

days  of  easy  transportation  and  storage  brought  fresh  fruits 
and  vegetables  the  year  round. 

If  the  good  housekeeper  analyzes  the  make-up  of  her  meals 
a  little  further,  she  will  probably  find  that  she  arranges  them, 
perhaps  unconsciously,  according  to  more  or  less  definite 
principles.  In  most  American  families  the  chief  daily 
features  of  breakfast  are  bread  of  some  sort  with  butter,  very 
often  fruit,  and  some  kind  of  breakfast  cereal,  and  coffee,  tea, 
or  cocoa,  with  their  usual  accompaniments  of  sugar  and 
milk  or  cream.  This  combination  is  varied  by  omitting 
either  the  bread  or  the  cereal  (which  is  logical,  if  one  wishes 
to  do  it,  since  they  provide  the  same  sort  of  nutrients,  though 
in  different  form),  by  changing  the  kind  of  bread  or  cereal, 
or  by  combining  with  them  some  other  materials.  If  the 
members  of  the  family  are  engaged  in  much  muscular  work, 
the  meal  will  b*e  made  more  hearty  by  the  addition  of  some 
hot  dish,  as  eggs,  meat  hash,  creamed  fish,  bacon,  and  pos- 
sibly honey  or  sirup.  If  their  work  is  light,  however,  less 
variety  or  smaller  portions  will  probably  be  preferred. 

The  custom  of  serving  fruit  at  breakfast  is  undoubtedly 
healthful  and  not  extravagant  if  low-priced  fruit  is  chosen. 
Of  course,  it  may  be  cooked  or  canned  fruit,  if  this  is  more 
convenient.  It  does  not  increase  the  housekeeper's  work  so 
much  if  it  is  served  with  the  other  breakfast  dishes  as  it  does 
if  made  a  separate  course,  for  each  course  means  extra  time 
and  service.  This  is  a  commonplace  illustration  of  the  prin- 
ciple that  the  housekeeper  who  has  many  demands  on  her 
time  or  who  has  limited  help  should  select  ways  of  service 
which  are  simple  and  time-saving  rather  than  those  suitable 
for  families  where  other  conditions  prevail.  Well  carried 
out,  the  result  is  pleasing  in  either  case. 

Tea,  coffee,  or  cocoa  is  usually  taken  at  breakfast  and 
other  meals  as  pleasant  flavored  hot  beverages  only,  and  owe 
their  food  value  mainly  to  the  cream,  milk,  or  sugar  used 
with  them.  Cocoa  itself  has  a  greater  food  value,  but,  if  the 
beverage  is  made  with  water,  the  difference  in  the  food  value 
of  a  cupful  is  not  very  large,  as  the  amount  of  cocoa  used  per 
cup  is  not  great.  When  made  with  milk,  it  is,  of  course, 
more  nutritious.  The  value  of  milk  as  a  beverage  must  not 
be  overlooked,  especially  in  the  case  of  children.  Skim  milk 
is  not  so  hearty  as  whole  milk,  but  it  is  still  a  nutritious  food 

The  Department  of  Agriculture  and  the  Housekeeper.      155 

and  might  well  be  used  more  freely  than  it  is,  especially 
where  economy  is  necessary. 

Dinner,  the  heaviest  meal  of  the  day,  usually  has  a  meat 
or  fish  dish  as  its  principal  item,  with  vegetables  and  bread 
and  butter,  and  perhaps  a  relish,  such  as  jelly,  to  accompai^ 
it,  and  a  sweet  dessert  to  "top  off  with."     If  the  rest  of  her 
dinner  is  lighter  or  simpler  than  usual,  a  good  manager  often 
finds  it  worth  while  to  let  a  soup  precede  the  meat.     This 
adds  to  the  attractiveness  of  the  meal  and  need  not  mean 
much  extra  work.     Unless  it  is  a  thick  broth  or  is  made  with 
milk,  the  soup  has  little  nutritive  value,  but  it  is  usually 
relished,  especially  in  cold  weather,  and  is  often  an  economi- 
cal way  of  using  up  left-overs.     The  serving  of  a  little  soup 
as  an  appetizer  for  the  first  course  of  dinner  is  a  common 
custom  in  homes  where  somewhat  elaborate  meals  are  the 
rule.     Since  it  adds  little  to  the  nutritive  value  of  the  meal, 
the  very  general  omission  of  soup  as  a  regular  part  of  dinner 
in  homes  where  labor  saving  is  sought  is  a  sensible  custom. 
A  way  of  piecing  out  a  very  simple  meat  course  is  to  make 
the  vegetables   especially  attractive   and   more  nutritious, 
perhaps  serving  escalloped  potatoes,  which  have  milk  and 
butter  added,  or  macaroni  and  cheese  instead  of  plain  boiled 
potatoes;  or,  if  the  family  is  fond  of  such  things,  providing 
some  kind  of  simple  vegetable  or  fruit  salad,  perhaps  as  a 
separate  course.     On  the  other  hand,  if  some  expensive  cut, 
such  as  beefsteak,  is  the  main  feature  of  the  meal,  the  other 
parts  of  the  dinner  may  be  made  simpler  than  usual  and  the 
total  expenditure  kept  not  far  from  the  average,  or  an  expen- 
sive  meal  on   one  day  may  be  followed   by  a  judicious 
use  of  left-overs  the  next  day.     In  parts  of  the  country  where 
good  fresh  fish  is  available  it  makes  an  excellent  substitute 
for  meat,  for  sea  food  has  a  similar  nutritive  value,  usually 
costs  less,  and  is  quite  worthy  of  more  frequent  use  than  is 
common.     Dried,  pickled,  and  smoked  meat  and  fish  also 
have  their  uses  to  vary  the  diet,  and  can  often  be  used  for 
economical  dishes.     Cheese,  eggs,  beans  and  similar  legumes, 
and  nuts  are  other  foodstuffs  which  may  be  used  for  the 
preparation  of  dishes  to  replace  meat  if  one  wishes  to  do  so. 
In  choosing  the  vegetables  for  a  meal,  it  is  worth  while  to 
remember  that  potatoes,  both  white  and  sweet,  the  staple 
carbohydrate  vegetables,  contain  much  larger  proportions 

156  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

of  nutrients  than  most  vegetables.  They  resemble  cooked 
macaroni,  rice,  and  hominy  in  food  value,  and  these  can  be 
used  to  take  their  place  when  convenience  or  the  wish  for 
variety  makes  this  desirable.  It  would  be  better  judgment 
not  to  serve  several  of  this  group  at  the  same  meal,  not 
because,  as  it  is  sometimes  stated  in  popular  literature,  the 
body  is  harmed  by  receiving  several  sorts  of  starch  at  one 
meal,  or  because  one  would  overeat  of  starchy  foods,  but 
because  the  meal  would  be  better  balanced  as  well  as  more 
in  accord  with  good  practice  if  it  included  other  types  of 
vegetables  instead  of  duplicating  those  of  similar  composi- 
tion. Green  vegetables,  such  as  beet  tops,  kale,  spinach, 
chard,  and  other  pot  herbs,  fruits  like  tomatoes,  green  corn, 
green  peas,  and  string  beans,  and  the  highly  flavored  root 
vegetables,  such  as  parsnips  and  turnips,  should  be  used  in 
combination  with  the  more  nutritious  kinds,  not  only  for  the 
sake  of  their  flavor,  but  also  for  furnishing  the  body  with 
valuable  chemical  substances,  especially  mineral  elements. 

Dried  beans,  peas,  cowpeas,  and  lentils  contain  a  good  deal 
of  nitrogenous  material  as  well  as  starch,  and  can  be  used 
with  economy  to  lessen  the  amount  of  meat.  Thus  the  old 
custom  of  serving  baked  beans,  peas,  and  bacon,  and  similar 
dishes,  as  the  heavy  dish  of  a  meal  is  justified  on  the  ground 
of  nutritive  value. 

The  custom  of  finishing  dinner  with  a  sweet  dessert  is 
almost  universal  in  this  country  and  is,  on  the  whole,  a  rea- 
sonable one.  Badly  cooked  pastries  and  puddings  very  often 
cause  digestive  disturbance,  but  the  simpler  kinds,  properly 
made,  are  wholesome  and  are  fairly  nutritious,  and  fruits, 
fresh,  dried,  or  cooked,  and  nuts  are  always  in  order  and  easy 
to  serve.  The  desserts  that  require  much  time  and  labor  to 
prepare  are  usually  not  worth  while  for  ordinary  family  use, 
though  suitable  enough  for  special  occasions.  On  days  when 
the  housework  is  especially  heavy  it  may  be  good  manage- 
ment to  substitute  fresh  fruits  or  preserves  with  cakes  or 
cookies  for  a  "made  "  dessert.  If  the  rest  of  the  meal  is  light, 
a  nutritious  dessert  is  in  order,  and  milk,  eggs,  butter,  and 
sugar  are  ingredients  which  contribute  materially  to  the  food 
value  of  such  dishes. 

Supper  is  usually  a  much  lighter  meal  than  dinner, 
although  in  many  families  it  includes  one  hot  dish  and  a  sec- 

The  Department  of  Agriculture  and  the  Housekeeper.      157 

ond  course  of  preserves  and  cake.  Here,  as  at  breakfast,  some 
kind  of  bread  with  butter  and  a  hot  beverage  form  the  basis 
of  the  meal  with  an  appetizing  dish  of  eggs,  meat,  cheese,  or 
vegetables  to  supplement  them.  This  is  the  meal  at  which 
the  capable  housekeeper  most  shows  her  ability  in  using  up 
left-overs,  providing  appetizing  surprises  which  do  not  re- 
quire much  new  material  or  time.  It  is  mistaken  economy 
to  add  a  good  deal  of  expensive  materials  in  order  to  use  up 
things  of  little  value  or  to  attempt  fussy  dishes  that  require 
long  preparation.  As  far  as  everyday  supper  is  concerned, 
it  is  usually  good  policy  to  avoid  elaborate  dishes  and  let  the 
most  of  the  time  and  strength  expended  for  such  things  go 
to  the  main  meal  of  the  day.  This  is  especially  true  where 
the  women  of  the  family  do  all  the  work. 

While  noon  dinner  and  supper  are  the  rule  in  most  rural 
districts  and  smaller  communities,  in  other  parts  of  the  coun- 
try, as  everyone  knows,  lunch  and  evening  dinner  take  their 
place,  as  is  inevitable  where  the  wage  earners  must  be  away 
from  home  all  day  long.  In  such  cases,  what  has  been  said 
about  supper  applies  to  lunch.  If  some  of  the  family  carry 
their  lunch  away  with  them,  bread  and  butter  again  form  the 
usual  basis  of  the  meal,  with  cold  meat,  cheese,  hard-boiled 
eggs,  or  some  other  appetizing  as  well  as  nutritious  food, 
and  perhaps  fruit  and  cake  to  complete  and  vary  it. 


Modern  science  has  been  applied  to  the  problems  of  cook- 
ing as  in  the  case  of  menu  making.  It  explains  and  tests 
the  old-fashioned  methods,  helps  in  the  finding  out  of  new 
ones,  and  shows  the  relation  of  the  preparation  of  food  to 
dietetics,  physiology,  and  hygiene.  From  the  scientist's 
point  of  view,  cooking  is,  ordinarily,  applying  heat  so  that  it 
produces  desirable  physical  and  chemical  changes  in  the  raw 
material.  It  also  sterilizes  food,  if  need  be,  as  any  parasites, 
molds,  or  bacteria,  etc.,  that  may  be  present  are  destroyed  by 
the  heat.  Sometimes,  as  in  the  case  of  a  cereal  like  oatmeal, 
the  consistency  of  the  material  is  so  changed  that  what 
would  otherwise  be  a  hard  mass  difficult  to  bring  into  condi- 
tion to  be  worked  upon  by  the  digestive  juices  is  in  proper 
condition  for  eating.  In  other  cases,  as  with  broiled  and 
roasted  meats,   pleasant  flavors   are  developed.     In  some 

158  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

instances,  as  in  the  case  of  bread  making,  the  changes  are 
much  more  complicated.  The  proportion  of  yeast  or  other 
leavening  agent  to  be  used  with  different  kinds  of  flour 
and  with  different  methods  of  mixing  dough  has  been  care- 
fully tested  in  connection  with  the  nutrition  investigations, 
as  has  also  the  digestibility  of  bread  made  from  different 
sorts  of  flour.  Well-made  bread  of  all  kinds  is  nutritious 
and  very  thoroughly  digested.  The  use  of  several  kinds  is 
an  easy  way  of  securing  variety  in  the  diet. 

The  effect  of  cooking  upon  vegetables  has  been  noted,  and 
the  reason  given  for  such  points  as  the  strong  odor  and 
supposed  indigestibility  of  cabbage.  As  the  cabbage  cooks, 
the  heat  breaks  down  the  compounds  which  give  the  charac- 
teristic flavor  to  it  and  volatile  bodies  are  given  off,  some  of 
which  contain  sulphur.  If  the  cooking  is  done  in  a  well- 
ventilated  place,  these  persistent  odors  are  carried  away. 
If  the  cabbage  is  cooked  too  long,  it  changes  color,  any  green 
portion  becoming  yellow  or  brown,  and  the  white  portion 
dark-colored.  The  flavor  also  becomes  more  strong,  and 
there  is  good  reason  to  believe  that  overcooked  cabbage  is  a 
common  cause  of  any  digestive  disturbance  experienced  with 
it  and  that  cabbage  cooked  only  until  tender  does  not  cause 
such  disturbance.  It  is  generally  true  that  overcooking 
green  vegetables  should  be  avoided,  as  it  injures  flavor  as 
well  as  appearance.  Asparagus,  string  beans,  and  green  peas 
are  vegetables  easily  injured  by  too  long  cooking.  They  are 
at  their  best  when  cooked  just  long  enough  to  make  them 
tender,  but  not  to  destroy  their  attractive  color. 

Other  technical  studies  have  shown  the  changes  which 
occur  when  meats  are  cooked  in  different  ways  and  the 
digestibility  of  the  different  kinds  and  preparations  of  meat. 
The  results  indicate  that  the  differences  are  much  less  than  is 
commonly  supposed,  all  kinds  and  cuts  prepared  in  the  usual 
ways  being  very  thoroughly  digested. 


People  used  to  think  that  cleanliness  was  mainly  a  matter 
of  personal  preference.  Since  the  bacteriologists  have  shown 
that  diseases  as  well  as  decay  and  loss  of  material  are  often 
caused  by  micro-organisms  which  are  commonly  harbored 
in  filth  and  dirt,  we  have  come  to  know  that  dirt  is  not  only 

The  Department  of  Agriculture  and  the  Housekeeper.      159 

disagreeable,  but  is  also  dangerous,  and  that  cleanliness  is 
nowhere  more  necessary  than  in  all  that  pertains  to  food. 

Perishable  food  materials  are  particularly  likely  to  spoil 
if  they  are  exposed  to  dust  or  kept  in  warm,  damp  places 
which  encourage  the  growth  of  molds  and  bacteria.  One  of 
#the  popular  bulletins  of  the  department  discusses  the  care 
of  food  in  the  home  and  suggests  practical,  inexpensive  ways 
of  keeping  it  properly.  Every  up-to-date  dairyman  and  the 
public,  too,  know  the  importance  of  absolute  cleanliness  in 
handling  milk.  If  one  applies  the  same  reasoning  to  other 
food  materials  it  is  evident  that  the  kitchen  and  pantry 
need  to  be  taken  care  of  as  scrupulously  as  the  dairy  and  that 
the  housekeeper  ought  to  be  as  careful  in  cooking  the  food 
she  serves  as  must  those  who  handle  milk.  So  much  has 
been  said  about  the  danger  of  flies  as  carriers  of  diseases  that 
it  seems  as  if  everyone  must  realize  the  importance  of  keep- 
ing them  out  of  the  house,  especially  out  of  that  part  of  it 
where  food  is  kept  or  eaten;  yet  thorough  screening  is  still 
far  from  usual,  even  in  kitchens  and  dining  rooms,  and  many 
families  seem  careless  of  this  very  real  danger. 


Another  problem  which  vexes  the  thrifty  housewife  is  that 
of  waste.  From  the  dietary  studies  conducted  by  the  depart- 
ment, and  from  other  data,  it  has  been  estimated  that  in 
American  families  the  waste  varies  from  practically  nothing 
to  one-fifth  of  the  edible  portion  of  the  food  purchased.  The 
waste  may  be  due  to  careless  buying,  improper  storage,  buy- 
ing materials  which  contain  large  amounts  of  more  or  less 
useless  substances,  such  as  meat  bones  or  the  skins,  seeds,  or 
tough  stems  and  leaves  of  vegetables;  preparing  foods  in  a 
careless  way,  so  that  little  is  eaten  and  much  wasted;  or, 
what  is  perhaps  the  most  common  fault  of  all  in  this  country, 
providing  and  serving  more  than  the  family  will  eat  and  not 
using  up  all  suitable  left-overs  for  making  appetizing  dishes. 
It  takes  considerable  skill  to  estimate  exactly  how  much  of 
each  dish  should  be  prepared  for  a  given  meal,  but  therein 
lies  one  of  the  great  secrets  of  economical  catering.  Such 
skill  must  be  acquired  largely  by  experience,  but  the  more 
the  housekeeper  knows  the  ways  of  observing  and  recording 
data  and  of  the  nature  of  her  materials  and  their  properties. 

160  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

the  easier  it  will  be  for  her  to  profit  by  her  experience.  In- 
formation on  these  and  related  topics  has  been  obtained  in 
connection  with  the  study  of  food  and  nutrition  problems. 

The  waste  of  materials  is  not  the  only  waste  that  is  found 
in  the  household.  There  is  often  a  waste  of  the  housekeeper's 
time  and  strength  which,  though  it  may  not  show  in  the  cash 
account,  is  just  as  bad  economy.  A  good  housekeeper 
considers  the  labor  involved  in  preparing  a  meal  just  as  much 
as  she  does  the  materials,  and  will  weigh  the  question  whether 
this  simple  or  that  more  elaborate  dish  is  really  economical 
or  worth  while  when  the  labor  supply  is  short.  She  will  see 
that  the  cookstove,  sink,  cooking  table,  and  other  kitchen 
furniture  are  so  placed  that  she  can  work  conveniently  and 
not  waste  time  and  strength  by  walking  needlessly  from  one 
to  the  other.  She  will  also  try  to  plan  the  preparation  of 
the  meals  so  that  one  part  of  the  work  will  dovetail  into 
another  and,  in  general,  try  to  make  "her  head  save  her 

This  question  of  saving  work  in  the  kitchen  leads  to  the 
very  important  one  of  household  conveniences  and  labor- 
saving  devices.  The  housekeeper  on  the  farm,  or  in  the 
small  town,  has  the  advantage  of  home-grown  vegetables 
and  other  foods,  and  with  a  little  time  and  trouble  supplies 
her  table  with  much  which  is  costly  in  larger  communities. 
No  one  can  deny,  however,  that  the  city  housekeeper  usually 
has  an  advantage  with  respect  to  conveniences,  for  her 
kitchen  invariably  has  running  water,  a  good  sewerage  system, 
and  often  a  gas  stove  and  a  convenient  ice  box,  not  to  men- 
tion its  nearness  to  markets  and  to  bakeries  and  shops,  where 
she  can  buy  things  ready  to  eat  in  an  emergency.  In  far 
too  many  rural  homes,  on  the  other  hand,  water  must  be 
carried  in  and  out,  coal  or  wood  and  ashes  must  be  carried 
long  distances,  and  often  even  such  simple  conveniences  as 
sinks,  window  boxes  for  keeping  food  cool,  etc.,  are  not  found. 
Although  it  is  often  harder  to  get  help  in  the  country  than  in 
town,  and  outside  aids  to  housekeeping,  such  as  laundries, 
are  seldom  accessible,  there  are  generally  fewer  of  the  labor- 
saving  devices,  such  as  washing  machines  and  other  laundry 
devices  and  labor-saving  cooking  utensils,  in  use  in  the  coun- 
try than  in  town  households  of  corresponding  means.  Many 
progressive  farmers  realize  that  it  is  not  only  unfair  but  poor 

The  Department  of  Agriculture  and  the  Housekeeper.      161 

economy  in  the  end  not  to  give  the  housekeeper  her  share  of 
new  equipment.  Family  welfare  depends  much  more  upon 
having  the  home  maker  in  good  health  and  spirits  than  it 
does  upon  a  few  extra  dollars  in  the  bank,  and  making  the 
farm  as  attractive  as  circumstances  allow  is  one  of  the  surest 
ways  of  preventing  the  children  from  becoming  dissatisfied 
with  country  life.  Information  on  such  matters  as  home 
conveniences  is  contained  in  bulletins  which  the  Department 
of  Agriculture  has  issued. 


This  survey  of  some  of  the  results  of  the  nutrition  investi- 
gations and  of  the  problems  to  the  discussion  of  which  the 
nutrition  publications  contribute  shows  how  the  whole 
question  of  home  betterment  is  bound  up  with  food  and  its 
preparation.  If  the  housewife  can  learn  to  make  a  wiser  use 
of  her  resources  and  can  economize  her  time  and  strength 
by  careful  planning  and  by  adopting  labor-saving  devices, 
she  can  provide  her  family  with  as  wholesome  and  econom- 
ical and  at  the  same  time  more  healthful  meals,  and  can 
lessen  her  household  labors,  and  so  can  have  more  leisure 
and  energy  to  cultivate  other  interests  also. 

The  Department  of  Agriculture  feels  that  one  of  the  most 
interesting  results  of  its  work  is  that  people  at  large  have 
come  to  regard  it  as  a  bureau  of  information.  This  is  as 
true  of  the  studies  of  food  and  its  nutritive  value  and  other 
features  which  bear  on  domestic  science  as  of  any  other 
branch  of  its  work,  and  it  is  a  gratification  to  find  that  each 
year  more  housekeepers  present  their  problems  and  ask  for 
information  regarding  food  and  other  matters  of  home  man- 
agement. Such  close  relations  with  the  housekeeper  and 
with  educational  institutions  seem  to  demonstrate  not  only 
that  this  work  of  the  department  for  the  homemaker  is  of 
scientific  value,  but  also  that  it  is  of  direct  practical  aid  to 
the  housekeepers  of  the  United  States  in  their  efforts  for 
efficient  and  rational  home  life. 

No  one  realizes  more  clearly  than  those  concerned  in  it 
how  broad  is  the  field  for  such  work  and  how  few  relatively 
of  the  housekeeper's  problems  have  had  the  careful  study 
which  they  merit.  Clothing,  household  equipment,  labor- 
saving  devices,  home  conveniences,  home  sanitation   and 

27306°— TBK  1913 11 

162  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

hygiene,  the  relation  of  right  methods  of  work  to  the  preven- 
tion of  fatigue — these  are  some  of  the  topics  which  are  as 
much  in  need  of  study  as  are  questions  of  food  and  economics 
of  the  household.  Methods  of  study  and  ways  of  bringing 
the  results  of  laboratory  research  to  the  housekeeper  already 
tried  and  found  good  in  department  work  are  available  and 
as  well  adapted  to  the  study  of  these  problems  as  to  those  in 
which  they  have  been  already  tested.  It  speaks  well  for  the 
housekeeper's  interests  in  the  future  that  the  Department  of 
Agriculture  is  giving  the  matter  attention  and  endeavoring 
so  to  adjust  its  activities  that  it  may  still  further  meet  the 
housekeeper's  needs,  for  it  realizes  that  the  housekeeper  is 
the  great  factor  in  determining  the  use  of  agricultural  prod- 
ucts, and,  more  important  still,  that  in  her  hands  is  the 
welfare  of  the  family. 


By  J.  Franklin  Collins, 
Forest  Pathologist,  Bureau  of  Plant  Industry. 


SOME  eminent  botanical  writers  have  stated  that  if  all 
the  external  factors  which  influence  the  growth  of  a 
tree  are  favorable  there  is  no  theoretical  reason  why  it  should 
not  live  in  a  healthy  condition  and  increase  in  size  indefinitely. 
These  statements  obviously  are  based  upon  the  well-known 
fact  that  the  increase  in  the  size  of.  a  tree  trunk  is  due  mainly 
to  the  new  layer  of  wood  which  is  formed  each  year  beneath 
the  bark  on  the  outside  of  the  old  wood.  If  a  tree  were 
never  attacked  by  insects  or  by  organisms  which  cause 
decay,  never  injured  or  broken  by  storms  or  mutilated  by 
men  or  animals,  there  undoubtedly  would  be  a  much  greater 
number  of  large  and  healthy  trees  than  exist  at  the  present 
time.  Probably  no  tree  ever  experienced  the  ideal  condi- 
tions suggested  above,  not  even  for  a  comparatively  brief 
period  of  its  existence.  Consequently,  the  conditions  that 
we  commonly  regard  as  normal  or  average  for  tree  growth 
are  really  far  from  ideal.  Throughout  its  life  a  tree  is  sub- 
ject to  injury  by  insects,  mechanical  forces,  and  disease. 
Again,  trees,  like  human  beings,  may  become  unhealthy  as 
a  result  of  improper  food,  air,  or  water,  or  an  insufficient 
amount  of  either,  or  they  may  become  sickly  and  die  from 
the  effects  of  noxious  gases. 

In  considering  the  subject  of  tree  surgery  it  is  important, 
first,  to  become  familiar  in  a  general  way  with  the  parts  of 
a  tree  which  are  directly  involved,  their  structure,  their 
importance  to  a  living  tree,  and  how  they  are  affected  by  the 
surgical  methods  employed.  Owing  to  the  lack  of  this 
knowledge,  many  serious  blunders  have  been  made  in  connec- 
tion with  the  care  of  mutilated,  injured,  and  diseased  trees. 


164  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 



A  tree  is  composed  of  three  main  parts — the  root,  the  stem 
(trunk  and  branches),  and  the  leaf.  The  roots  serve  not  only 
for  anchorage,  but  are  the  main  passages  for  the  entrance  of 
water  into  a  tree.  Practically  no  water  enters  elsewhere. 
It  enters  chiefly  through  the  very  small  roots,  passes  into  the 
larger  roots,  then  up  the  trunk,  and  out  into  the  larger  and 
smaller  branches  to  the  leaves.  In  moving  from  the  roots  to 
the  leaves  it  passes  mainly  through  the  sapwood  (PI.  XVI, 
fig.  1,6),  that  portion  of  the  wood  which  lies  immediately 
beneath  the  bark  and  cambium.  The  sapwood  is  of  a  lighter 
color  in  many  trees  than  the  heartwood  (PI.  XVI,  fig.  1,  a) 
in  the  central  portion  of  the  trunk  and  limbs,  and  varies 
in  thickness  from  a  quarter  of  an  inch  to  2  inches  or  more, 
according  to  the  kind  of  tree.  The  heartwood  is  practically 
dead  tissue  and  gives  rigidity  to  the  tree.  It  is  not  active 
in  conducting  sap,  and  thus  it  may  often  be  partially  or  com- 
pletely removed  without  causing  serious  injury  to  the  tree 
beyond  impairing  its  strength. 

Not  so  with  the  sapwood,  for  if  any  great  amount  of  this, 
as  measured  around  the  trunk,  is  removed,  the  tree  may  be 
seriously  injured  or  killed.  Since  the  sap  moves  upward 
primarily  through  the  microscopic  tubes  which  run  length- 
wise in  the  sapwood  of  roots,  trunk,  and  limbs,  it  is  possible 
to  remove  a  long  and  narrow  strip  of  sapwood  extending  par- 
allel with  these  tubes  with  less  injury  to  the  tree  than  would 
result  from  cutting  out  a  shorter  and  smaller,  but  broader, 
area  to  an  equal  depth.  This  is  due  to  the  fact  that  the 
broader  cut  severs  and  renders  useless  a  greater  number  of 
these  sap-conducting  tubes. 

When  the  water  finally  reaches  the  leaves,  the  larger  part 
of  it  escapes  in  the  form  of  vapor.  Unless  the  water  which  is 
lost  by  evaporation  is  promptly  and  constantly  replaced 
from  the  soil  by  the  roots,  wilting  will  result.  Should  this 
wilted  condition  continue  for  any  great  length  of  time  the 
tree,  or  portions  of  it,  may  be  permanently  injured.  Wilting 
may  also  result  from  certain  abnormal  conditions,  such  as  a 
sudden  application  of  common  salt  or  other  chemicals  to  the 
soil  around  the  roots,  or  the  removal  of  portions  of  the  sap- 
wood,  or  the  cutting  of  the  roots. 

Practical  Tree  Surgery.  165 

The  tree  manufactures  its  own  food.  In  its  simpler  forms 
this  consists  of  sugar  and  starch,  which  are  made  from  car- 
bonic-acid gas  and  water.  This  work  is  done  only  during 
daylight  and  almost  entirely  in  the  green  leaves.  Mineral 
substances  are  dissolved  in  the  water  which  enters  the  tree 
from  the  ground.  Some  of  these  are  of  vital  importance  to 
the  tree  and  are  used  in  the  making  of  certain  more  complex 
kinds  of  food,  though  not  in  the  formation  of  sugar  and 
starch.  When  formed,  the  foods  are  carried  through  micro- 
scopic conducting  tubes  in  the  inner  bark  to  those  parts  of 
the  tree  where  growth  and  repair  are  actively  going  on  and 
are  soon  transformed  into  new  tissues  or  stored  at  convenient 
places  for  future  use.  While  being  transported,  the  foods  are 
dissolved  in  water,  which  is  present  in  great  abundance  in 
all  living  parts  of  the  tree. 

If  a  ring  of  bark  completely  encircling  (girdling)  a  limb  be 
removed,  practically  all  of  the  food  matter  formed  in  the 
leaves  beyond  the  girdled  area  will  remain  in  the  limb.  This 
usually  results  in  an  enlargement  of  the  limb  immediately 
above  the  girdled  area  or  in  an  unusual  enlargement  of  fruits 
or  flowers,  provided  there  are  many  healthy  leaves  and  only  a 
few  fruits  or  flowers  beyond  the  girdled  area.  The  flow  of 
water  in  the  sapwood  from  the  roots  to  the  leaves  is  not 
immediately  affected  to  any  extent  by  removing  the  bark, 
although  the  limb  later  dies  as  the  sapwood  becomes  dry 
beneath  the  girdled  area.  If  both  bark  and  sapwood  are 
removed,  the  limb  beyond  dies  very  soon. 


From  the  standpoint  of  tree  surgery  the  most  important 
portion  of  a  tree  is  the  very  thin,  usually  watery,  layer  of 
young  tissue  located  between  the  bark  and  wood  of  all  healthy 
parts  of  a  tree.  This  is  the  cambium  (PI.  XVI,  fig.  1,  c). 
It  is  the  layer  that  splits  or  slips  so  easily  when  the  bark  is 
removed  in  making  the  familiar  willow  whistles  in  the  spring. 
During  the  growing  season  it  is  constantly  giving  rise  to  new 
cells  on  both  sides;  on  the  outer  to  new  layers  of  bark  cells, 
on  the  inner  to  new  layers  of  wood  cells.  This  results  in  the 
youngest  wood  being  on  the  outside  of  the  old  wood  and  the 
youngest  bark  on  the  inside  of  the  old  bark.     If  a  portion  of 

166  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

the  cambium  is  killed,  no  more  new  wood  or  bark  can  again 
be  formed  under  or  over  this  area.  The  living  cambium 
surrounding  the  dead  area  will,  however,  give  rise  each  year 
to  a  new  layer  of  wood  and  bark  unless  growth  is  inhibited 
by  disease  or  further  injury.  This  new  growth  will  grad- 
ually push  out  over  the  dead  area  and  may  eventually  cover 
it  (PI.  XVI,  figs.  2,  3,  and  5).  Such  dead  spots  furnish 
favorable  points  for  the  entrance  of  insects  and  organisms 
which  cause  decay. 

The  formation  of  all  new  wood  and  baric  and  the  healing 
over  of  all  cut  stubs  and  dead  areas  are  due  solely  to  the 
activity  of  the  living  cambium;  consequently,  it  is  of  utmost 
importance  that  the  cambium  be  protected  from  injury  at  all 
times.  Many  failures  in  tree-surgery  work  have  been  due 
wholly  to  injuries  to  the  cambium.  During  the  winter  the 
cambium  remains  alive  but  inactive,  and  is  then  least  liable 
to  injury.  In  the  spring,  when  the  buds  and  leaves  are 
unfolding,  it  contains  much  water,  is  actively  growing,  and 
is  then  most  susceptible  to  injury. 


The  oldest  bark  is  on  the  surface  of  the  trunk  and  limbs 
and  is  composed  of  dead,  corky  tissues  which  are  constantly 
being  worn  away  in  the  form  of  small  fragments  by  the  action 
of  wind,  rain,  and  other  external  agencies  (see  PI.  XVI, 
fig.  1,  e).  Parasitic  diseases  and  organisms  which  cause 
decay  can  rarely  gain  entrance  into  the  interior  of  a  trunk 
or  limb  if  this  dead,  corky  bark  and  the  cambium  beneath 
it  remain  uninjured. 


It  is  a  well-known  fact  that  trees  are  subject  to  all  sorts 
of  injuries,  from  sources  too  numerous  to  mention.  In  a 
great  majority  of  cases  these  injuries  are  allowed  to  remain 
untreated — often  for  years.  Rot-producing  fungi  commonly 
gain  entrance  at  these  places,  and  eventually  the  original 
inconspicuous  or  unobserved  injury  develops  into  a  com- 
paratively large  area  of  decay.  The  real  aim  of  tree  surgery 
is  to  repair  the  damage  resulting  from  such  neglected  injuries 
and  rotted  areas. 

Practical  Tree  Surgery.  167 


In  most  tree-surgery  work  a  few  fundamental  principles 
must  be  observed  in  order  that  permanent  good  results  may 
be  realized.  These  may  be  summarized  as  follows:  (1) 
Remove  all  decayed,  diseased,  or  injured  wood  and  bark. 
When  on  small  limbs,  this  can  often  best  be  done  by  removing 
the  limb.  On  larger  limbs  or  on  the  trunk  it  may  at  times 
mean  the  digging  out  of  a  cavity.  (2)  Sterilize  all  cut  sur- 
faces. (3)  Waterproof  all  cut  surfaces.  (4)  Leave  the  work 
in  the  most  favorable  condition  for  rapid  healing.  This  will 
often  mean  the  filling  of  deep  cavities.  (5)  Watch  the  work 
from  year  to  year  for  defects.  If  any  appear  they  should 
be  attended  to  immediately. 


Tree  surgery,  or,  more  properly,  tree  repair  work,  is  not  a 
mysterious  art  known  only  to  a  favored  few  who  alone  are 
fitted  to  undertake  it,  as  some  interested  persons  would  have 
tree  owners  believe.  It  can  be  undertaken  by  any  careful 
man  who  has  a  good  general  knowledge  of  the  structure  and 
life  history  of  a  tree,  its  normal  manner  of  covering  wounds, 
and  how  insects  and  decay  organisms  cause  damage,  provided 
he  can  handle  a  gouge  and  mallet,  a  saw,  and  a  tar  brush  and 
applies  in  a  practical  manner  his  knowledge  of  the  anatomy 
of  a  tree,  together  with  a  generous  admixture  of  good  com- 
mon sense.  For  work  in  the  tops  of  trees  he  will  also  need  a 
clear  head  and  ability  to  climb.  Many  tree  owners  and  many 
persons  in  charge  of  private  estates  are  well  qualified  to  under- 
take tree  surgery  if  the  requisite  time  is  available  and  they 
will  familiarize  themselves  with  the  fundamental  principles 
and  operations  underlying  the  work,  at  least  to  the  extent 
presented  in  this  article. 

The  impression  should  not  be  gathered  from  what  has 
just  been  said  that  there  is  no  advantage  in  practice  and 
training  of  the  proper  kind.  On  the  contrary  (in  commer- 
cial work,  particularly) ,  practice  and  training  develop  speed 
in  working  and  quickness  in  determining  the  right  thing  to 
be  done,  but  they  do  not  necessarily  mean  any  greater  care 
or  thoroughness  in  the  work.  It  is  safe  to  say  that  a  man 
who  takes  care  of  his  own  trees  or  carefully  supervises  the 

168  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

work  of  those  attending  to  them  will  be  likely  to  know 
definitely  whether  or  not  the  work  is  thoroughly  and  prop- 
erly done. 



It  is  no  easy  matter  to  find  a  place  where  the  well-worn 
phrase  "prevention  is  better  than  cure"  could  be  applied 
with  greater  appropriateness  than  in  connection  with  tree 
surgery.  Ice  or  wind  may  break  limbs  or  uproot  trees  which 
injure  others  as  they  fall.  Horses  commonly  gnaw  away 
portions  of  the  bark  of  street  trees  unprotected  by  tree 
guards.  Telephone,  telegraph,  and  electric  linemen  with 
their  climbing  spurs  and  saws  are  notorious  mutilators  of 
shade  trees,  especially  in  towns  where  the  trimming  of  trees 
is  not  regulated  by  law.  Poorly  insulated  electric  wires  of 
high  voltage  often  discharge  heavy  currents  through  the 
trees.  Wheel  hubs  frequently  tear  away  large  pieces  of 
bark.  After  a  few  years,  decay  may  penetrate  into  the 
interior  of  the  tree  from  any  or  all  of  these  injured  places 
(PI.  XVI,  fig.  4) .  This  decay  may  increase  from  year  to  year 
until  large  limbs,  or  the  trunk  itself,  become  so  weakened 
that  they  are  easily  broken  by  violent  storms  (PI.  XVI,  fig.  6) . 
It  requires  comparatively  little  time  and  expense  to  clean 
and  paint  a  fresh  injury.  It  often  requires  much  time  and 
expense  to  treat  properly  the  same  injury  after  it  has  been 
neglected  for  a  few  years.  Almost  every  large  decayed 
cavity  has  resulted  from  an  injury  which  would  have 
required  comparatively  little  time  and  effort  to  clean,  ster- 
ilize, and  waterproof  at  the  time  it  occurred.  The  most 
economical  and  reliable  remedy  for  a  decayed  area  consists 
in  attending  to  an  injury  as  soon  as  it  is  made,  perhaps 
20  or  30  years  before  it  becomes  a  menace  to  the  tree.  This 
fact  should  never  be  forgotten  by  tree  owners  or  persons 
who  are  charged  with  the  care  of  trees.  If  put  into  prac- 
tice, it  will  insure  a  profit  of  many  hundred  per  cent  on  the 
original  outlay. 


In  its  simplest  type,  tree  surgery,  as  it  is  popularly  under- 
stood at  the  present  time,  consists  in  removing  dead  or 
decayed  limbs  or  stubs  from  a  tree  and  treating  the  scar 

Yearbook  U.  S.  Dept.  of  Agriculture,  1913. 

Plate  XVI. 

Properly  Treated  Injuries,  Showing  Normal  Healing,  and  Untreated 
Injuries,  Showing  Normal  Progress  of  Decay. 

Fig.  1.— Cross  section  of  a  tree  trunk  showing  location  of  parts:  a,  heartwood;  6,  sapwood;  c, 
cambium;  d,  bark;  e,  corky  outer  bark.  Fig.  2.— A  scar  beginning  to  heal  over.  (Note  that 
it  heals  more  rapidly  at  the  sides  than  at  the  top  and  bottom.)  Fig.  3.— A  scar  about  three- 
quarters  healed  over.  Fig.  4. — Cross  section  of  a  7-year-old  blaze  on  a  quaking  aspen  which 
has  nearly  healed  over.  ( Note  the  large  area  of  decay  which  originated  at  the  ax  cut.  The 
lino  on  the  wood  indicates  the  proper  shape  of  the  cavity  if  this  had  been  excavated.)  Fig. 
5.— A  scar  from  a  cut  limb  entirely  nealed  over.  Fig.  6.— End  of  a  log,  showing  a  small  open- 
ing into  the  large  decayed  area;  only  a  shell  of  sound  wood  remains. 

Yearbook  U.  S.  Dept.  of  Agriculture,  1913. 

Plate  XVII. 

Removal  of  Large  Limbs,  Showing  Proper  and  Improper  Methods. 

Fig.  1. — A  heavy  limb  improperly  cut,  showing  the  stripping  ns  the  limb  falls.  (Compare 
with  Figs.  2,  5,  and  4.)  Fig.  2. — Removing  a  heavy  limb;  thefirsteutontheundersideisto 
prevent  stripping.     Fig.  3. — Removing  a  heavy  limb;  the  oval  scar  has  been  somewhat 

f)ointed  with  a  gouge  above  and  below  to  facilitate  healing.  F'ig.  4. — Removing  a  heavy 
imb;  tho  third  cut  to  remove  the  stub  shown  in  fig.  5  has  been  completed.  Fig.  5.— Remov- 
ing a  heavy  limb;  the  second  cuteompleted;  the  limb  has  fallen  withoutany  stripping.  Fig. 
6. — Improperly  cut  and  untreated  stubs.  The  bark  of  these  stubs  died  mainly  as  a  result 
of  severing  all  the  food-producing  organs  (leaves)  above:  decay  has  entered  the  trunk  from 
these  stubs.  (Note  that  the  successive  stages  in  removing  a  heavy  limb  are  shown  in  figs. 
2,o,  4,  and  3,  in  the  order  indicated.) 

Yearbook  U.  S.  Dept.  of  Agriculture,  1913. 

Plate  XVIII. 

Long  Cavities  Excavated  through  Several  Openings  and  a  Short  Cavity 
Excavated  through  One  Opening. 

Fig.  1.— Cavities  in  two  trees  excavated  through  small  openings  cut  in  the  trunk.  It  would 
be  better  to  make  the  openings  oval  and  pointed  rather  than  square  or  round.  Fig.  2.— 
An  old  injury  caused  by  horses  gnawing  the  bark.  Fig.  3.— The  injur}-  shown  in  fig.  2  exca- 
vated and  ready  for  tarring  prior  to  filling. 

Yearbook  U.  S.  Dept.  of  Agriculture,  1913. 

Plate  XIX. 

Detailed  Views  of  Excavated,  Bolted,  and  Cemented  Cavities. 

Fig.  i. — Cross  section  of  a  young  tree  trunk  showing  how  the  new  wood  and  bark  prow  into  an 
unfilled  cavity  from  the'margin.  (The  line  on  the  wood  indicates  the  amount  of  excavating 
that  would  be  needed  before  filling  the  cavity.)  Fig.  2.— Cross  section  of  a  cavity  in  a  trunk, 
snowing  the  mannerof  usingasingle-headed  bolt  and  of  placing  nails  when  there  is  little  or  no 
undercutting.  Fig.  3.— Cross  section  of  a  tree  trunk  showing  the  manner  of  using  two  sin- 
gle-headed bolts  to  brace  a  cavity.  Fig.  4.— The  oval  washer  (the  best  kind  to  use)  showing 
the  proper  method  of  countersinking  and  bolting.  (Compare  also  figs.  2  and  3.)  Fig.  5.— 
Cross  section  of  the  tree  trunk  shown  in  fig.  2  after  it  is  filled  with  cement.  (Note  that  the 
surface  of  the  cement  conforms  with  the  general  shape  of  the  woody  portion  of  the  trunk  and 
reaches  only  to  thecambium.) 

Practical  Tree  Surgery.  169 

with  an  antiseptic  and  waterproof  covering  to  prevent  decay 
while  healing.  Another  type  consists  in  cutting  out  the 
decayed  and  diseased  matter  in  trees  and  filling  the  cavities 
with  cement  or  other  material  to  facilitate  the  normal 
healing-over  process.  This  is  often  referred  to  as  "tree 
dentistry,"  a  term  which  very  aptly  indicates  the  character 
of  the  work.  Filled  cavities  do  not  increase  the  strength  of 
the  trunk  or  limb  to  the  extent  that  is  generally  supposed. 


The  work  under  this  heading  can  be  regarded  as  compris- 
ing but  two  essential  operations:  (1)  Removing  the  branches 
in  a  manner  that  will  prevent  injury  to  the  surrounding  bark 
and  cambium,  and  (2)  sterilizing  and  waterproofing  the  scars. 


For  the  work  of  removing  branches,  the  most  essential  im- 
plements are  a  good-sized  saw  with  teeth  so  set  as  to  make 
a  wide  cut,  a  gouge,  a  chisel,  a  mallet,  and  a  strong  knife. 
For  cutting  limbs  near  the  ground  these  are  the  only  neces- 
sary implements.  For  limbs  situated  elsewhere  a  ladder 
may  be  needed;  also,  at  times,  a  rope. 

A  large  limb  should  never  be  removed  by  sawing  through 
from  the  upper  side,  as  this  usually  strips  the  bark  and  wood 
below  the  scar  (PI.  XVII,  fig.  1) .  The  proper  way  is  to  make 
the  first  saw  cut  on  the  under  side,  from  6  inches  to  a  foot 
beyond  the  point  where  the  final  cut  is  to  be  made  (PI.  XVII, 
fig.  2) .  It  should  reach  from  one-fourth  to  one-half  through 
the  limb.  A  good  time  to  stop  cutting  is  when  the  saw 
becomes  pinched  in  the  cut.  The  second  cut  is  made  on 
the  upper  side  of  the  limb,  an  inch  or  two  beyond  the  first 
one.  This  is  continued  until  the  limb  falls  (PI.  XVII,  fig.  5). 
After  the  limb  has  fallen,  a  third  cut  is  made  close  to  the 
trunk  and  in  line  with  its  woody  surface  (PI.  XVII,  fig.  4). 
When  nearly  sawed  through,  the  stub  must  be  supported  until 
completely  severed,  so  as  to  avoid  any  possibility  of  strip- 
ping the  bark  below  as  it  falls  (PI.  XVII,  fig.  1).  The  first 
and  second  cuts  to  prevent  stripping  may  be  omitted  when 
small  limbs  which  can  beheld  firmly  in  place  until  completely 
severed  are  being  cut. 

170  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

When  the  scar  is  not  naturally  pointed  above  and  below, 
it  is  a  good  practice  on  most  trees  to  remove  a  short  trian- 
gular piece  of  bark  from  the  upper  edge  of  the  scar  and 
another  from  the  lower  edge  (PL  XVII,  fig.  3),  so  as  to  an- 
ticipate its  dying  back  at  these  points.  This  makes  the  scar 
pointed  at  both  ends,  the  most  favorable  shape  for  healing. 
It  is  important  that  some  good  shellac  be  applied  with  a 
suitable  brush  over  the  edge  of  the  bark,  especially  the 
cambium,  immediately  after  the  cut  is  made.  If  the  scar 
is  a  large  one,  it  is  a  good  plan  to  use  the  knife  for  one  or 
two  minutes  and  then  shellac  the  freshly  cut  surfaces,  re- 
peating the  operation  until  all  the  bark  around  the  scar  has 
been  shellacked.  The  full  benefit  of  the  shellac  will  not  be 
achieved  if  many  minutes  elapse  between  the  cutting  and 
the  shellacking,  unless  the  freshly  cut  surfaces  are  visibly 
moist  with  sap. 

If  necessary,  the  woody  surface  of  the  scar  may  now  be 
smoothed  off  with  a  chisel  and  mallet  to  conform  in  general 
shape  with  the  tree  trunk.  It  is  bad  practice  to  leave  a  stub 
projecting  from  a  trunk,  as  shown  in  Plate  XVII,  figure  6. 


The  final  operation  is  to  sterilize  and  waterproof  the  surface 
of  the  exposed  wood  and  bark.  For  this  purpose  many  prep- 
arations have  been  used.  Recent  extensive  tests  by  special- 
ists in  timber  preservation  indicate  that  some  of  the  creosotes 
stand  far  ahead  of  all  other  tested  preparations  in  their  power 
to  destroy  and  prevent  the  growth  of  certain  wood-destroying 
fungi  and  that  ordinary  creosote,  although  it  does  not  head 
the  list,  is  far  better  than  other  preparations  except  some  of 
the  less  known  and  less  available  creosotes.  Furthermore, 
creosote  penetrates  the  wood  better  than  a  watery  anti- 
septic. In  using  commercial  creosote,  it  can  be  applied  with 
an  ordinary  paint  brush  over  every  part  of  the  exposed 
wood.  The  entire  shellacked  and  creosoted  surface  must 
finally  be  waterproofed  by  painting  it  with  heavy  coal  tar. 
A  single  application  of  a  mixture  of  creosote  and  coal  tar 
(about  one-fourth  or  one-third  creosote)  has  been  quite  ex- 
tensively used  with  good  results.  Although  one  coating  of 
this  mixture  may  at  times  be  sufficient,  it  is  always  safer 
to  follow  it  with  a  heavy  coat  of  coal  tar. 

Practical  Tree  Surgery.  171 

A  good  grade  of  lead  paint  can  be  substituted  for  the  tar, 
if  desired,  although  it  is  not  generally  considered  as  satis- 
factory; or  grafting  wax  may  serve  satisfactorily  for  small 
surfaces.  Asphalt  and  various  preparations  containing 
asphalt  are  excellent  waterproof  coverings  and  would  doubt- 
less be  more  generally  used  were  it  not  necessary  to  apply 
them  hot.  A  good  and  possibly  more  permanent  method 
of  treating  the  scars  is  to  char  the  surface  slightly  with  a 
gasoline  or  alcohol  blast  torch  and  then  cover  the  hot  surface 
with  heavy  tar  or  hot  asphalt.  Although  heat  is  an  ex- 
cellent sterilizing  agent,  it  does  not  penetrate  so  well  as 
creosote  and  it  kills  back  the  cambium  to  a  greater  extent. 

Permanent  waterproofing  can  be  secured  only  when  the 
treated  surfaces  are  watched  from  year  to  year  and  recoated 
when  any  tendency  to  crack  or  peel  is  observed.  This  is  an 
important  step,  which  is  almost  invariably  neglected  by  tree 
owners  and  tree  surgeons. 


During  the  last  few  years  there  has  been  a  widespread 
popular  interest  in  the  treatment  of  decayed  places  in  old 
trees.  Many  inquiries  addressed  to  the  Department  of 
Agriculture  refer  solely  to  methods  employed  in  cementing 
cavities.  This  is  a  logical  result  of  the  present  extensive 
use  of  cement  in  filling  tree  cavities.  This  type  of  work  will 
first  be  considered.  It  can  be  regarded  as  comprising  three 
essential  operations:  (1)  Removing  all  decayed  and  dis- 
eased matter,  (2)  sterilizing  and  waterproofing  all  cut  sur- 
faces, and  (3)  filling  the  cavity  in  a  manner  that  will  favor 
rapid  healing  and  exclude  rot-producing  organisms. 


The  necessary  tools  for  digging  out  decayed  matter  are 
few.  As  a  rule,  two  outside-ground  socket-handled  gouges 
(one  with  a  curved  cutting  edge  of  about  three-fourths  of  an 
inch  and  the  other,  perhaps,  1J  inches),  a  chisel,  a  mallet, 
a  knife,  and  an  oilstone  are  sufficient  for  ordinary  work. 
The  gouges,  chisel,  and  knife  should  never  be  used  near  the 
cambium  when  they  lack  a  keen  edge,  as  dull  tools  will 
injure  it.  In  cutting  out  deep  cavities,  longer  interchange- 
able handles  for  the  gouges  may  be  necessary.     A  ladder  or 

172  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

a  stepladder  will  be  required  if  the  work  is  more  than  5  feet 
from  the  ground. 


Usually  an  old  decayed  spot  may  be  partially  or  wholly 
covered  by  a  new  growth  of  wood  and  bark  at  the  edges 
and  the  visible  decayed  area  be  small  as  compared  with  that 
which  is  hidden.  (See  PI.  XVI,  figs.  4  and  6.)  In  such  cases 
it  is  usually  necessary  to  enlarge  the  opening  with  the  gouges 
and  mallet  in  order  to  make  sufficient  room  in  which  to  use 
the  gouges  in  the  interior.  This  opening  should  not  be  any 
wider  than  is  necessary,  for  reasons  already  stated  in  dis- 
cussing sapwood,  but  it  may  be  sufficiently  long  to  reach  all 
the  decayed  and  diseased  heartwood  with  little  or  no  addi- 
tional injury  to  the  tree. 

If  the  decayed  and  diseased  wood  extends  some  distance 
above  or  below  the  external  opening,  it  is  a  common  practice 
to  cut  one  or  more  holes  above  or  below  the  main  opening 
in  order  to  facilitate  the  removal  of  the  diseased  wood 
(PL  XVIII,  fig.  1) .  This  results  in  one  or  more  bridges  of  wood 
and  bark  spanning  the  long  interior  cavity.  This  practice  is 
of  doubtful  value,  partly  because  it  is  often  impossible  to 
see  whether  the  diseased  wood  has  been  entirely  removed 
from  the  under  side  of  the  bridges,  but  mainly  because  there 
is  a  strong  tendency  in  most  trees  for  the  bark  and  sapwood 
of  the  bridges  to  die  and  decay  as  a  result  of  severing  the 
sap-conducting  tubes  both  above  and  below.  If  the  holes  are 
pointed  above  and  below,  there  is  less  trouble  from  this 
source.  A  practice  that  permits  a  more  thorough  cleaning 
out  of  the  cavity  is  to  make  a  narrow  opening,  pointed  at 
both  ends  and  sufficiently  long  to  include  all  the  diseased 
wood.  This  often  extends  some  distance  above  and  below 
the  visible  discolored  area. 

The  most  important  feature  of  this  stage  of  the  work  is  to 
remove  all  the  diseased  and  insect-eaten  wood  (PI.  XVIII, 
figs.  2  and  3).  This  excavating  must  continue  on  all  sides  of 
the  cavity  until  sound,  uninfected  wood  is  reached.  (See 
PI.  XVI,  fig.  4.)  All  discolored  or  water-soaked  heartwood 
should  be  removed,  as  this  is  the  region  inVhich  the  rot- 
producing  fungus  is  most  active.  In  decayed  areas  of  many 
years'  standing  there  may  be  only  a  thin  shell  of  uninfected 
wood  around  the  cavity  (PI.  XVI,  fig.  6) ,  in  which  case  there  is 

Practical  Tree  Surgery.  173 

danger  of  the  tree  being  broken  by  storms  unless  braced  or 
guyed,  as  indicated  later  under  "Guying." 


The  bottom  and  all  other  parts  of  the  cavity  should  be  so 
shaped  that  if  water  were  thrown  into  the  cavity  it  would 
promptly  run  out  and  none  remain  in  any  hollow.  This  fea- 
ture is  commonly  called  "drainage."  It  is  bad  practice  to 
have  a  deep  water  pocket  at  the  bottom  of  a  cavity  with 
drainage  through  an  auger  hole  bored  from  the  exterior. 
An  open  hole  of  'this  sort  often  becomes  a  favorable  lodging 
place  for  insects  or  fungous  spores. 


Another  important  point  to  be  borne  in  mind  in  shaping 
a  cavity  that  is  to  be  filled  is  to  have  the  sides  undercut  if 
possible,  so  as  to  hold  the  filling  firmly  in  place.  Care  must 
be  taken,  however,  not  to  have  the  wood  at  the  edges  of  the 
opening  very  thin,  as  this  promotes  the  drying  out  of  the 
bark  and  sapwood  at  these  points.  Ordinarily  the  edges 
should  be  at  least  three-fourths  of  an  inch  thick;  an  inch  and 
a  half  would  be  better  (PI.  XVI,  fig.  4,  and  PI.  XIX,  fig.  1). 
Inrolled  bark  at  the  edges  of  an  opening  should  be  cut  back 
in  nearly  parallel  radial  planes,  as  a  rule,  to  a  point  which 
will  permit  the  surface  of  the  completed  cement  filling  to 
conform  with  and  continue  across  the  cavity  the  general  con- 
tour of  the  woody  part  of  the  trunk  (PI.  XIX,  fig.  1).  If  it  is 
not  possible  to  undercut  sufficiently  to  hold  the  filling  firmly 
in  place,  the  alternative  method  described  under  "Nailing" 
can  be  adopted  (PI.  XIX,  fig.  2). 

As  already  stated,  great  care  must  be  exercised  in  working 
around  the  cambium,  and  all  cutting  tools  must  be  kept 
very  sharp.  The  final  cutting  along  the  edges  of  the  bark 
and  sapwood  can  usually  best  be  made  with  a  very  sharp 
knife.  This  cutting  must  be  followed  immediately  by  a 
coating  of  shellac,  which  should  cover  the  edges  of  both 
bark  and  sapwood. 


Before  cementing  a  long  cavity  it  is  advisable  to  place 
through  it  one  or  more  bolts,  so  as  to  hold  the  wood  and 
cement  more  firmly  in  place.     A  cavity  2  feet  or  less  in 

174  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

length  will  not  usually  require  a  bolt,  but  long  cavities,  as  a 
general  rule,  should  be  bolted  every  18  to. 24  inches.  Often- 
times a  single  bolt  can  be  placed  so  as  to  support  both  sides 
(PI.  XIX,  fig.  2) .  In  certain  cavities  it  may  be  necessary  to 
place  bolts  at  different  angles  (PL  XIX,  fig.  3).  In  any  case 
a  strip  of  uninjured  cambium  at  least  an  inch  wide  should 
be  left  between  the  edge  of  the  cavity  and  the  bolt.  On 
medium-sized  trunks,  after  deciding  where  the  bolts  can 
most  efficiently  be  placed,  a  very  sharp  half-inch  bit,  suffi- 
ciently long  to  reach  through  the  trunk  and  cavity,  can  be 
used  to  bore  the  hole  for  the  bolt.  On  large,  heavy  trunks 
a  larger  bit  should  be  used.  Heavy  oval  or  round  iron  or 
steel  washers,  about  three  times  the  diameter  of  the  bolt, 
should  be  countersunk  into  the  wood  by  carefully  cutting 
away  the  bark  at  both  ends  of  the  hole  with  a  sharp  gouge 
or  chisel  (PI.  XIX,  figs.  2,  3,  and  4) .  The  washers  should 
be  heavy  and  ample,  but  not  so  broad  as  to  necessitate 
cutting  away  a  large  piece  of  bark.  In  most  trees  when 
round  washers  are  used  it  is  advisable  to  have  this  counter- 
sunk area  somewhat  pointed  above  and  below  the  washer,  for 
reasons  already  mentioned.  By  holding  the  two  washers 
in  place,  the  length  of  the  steel  machine  bolt  can  be  deter- 
mined by  measuring  through  the  hole.  The  bolt  must  be 
thick  enough  to  fit  snugly  in  the  hole  and  should  project 
beyond  each  washer  for  at  least  one-fourth  inch.  The  thread 
at  each  end  of  the  bolt  must  be  sufficiently  long  to  permit 
drawing  in  the  sides  of  the  cavity  a  little  as  the  nuts  are 
screwed  up  against  the  washers.  A  chamfered  single- 
headed  bolt  may  be  used,  if  preferred.  Before  the  bolts  are 
finally  put  in  place  the  countersunk  cuts  and  bolt  boles 
should  be  tarred  or  creosoted,  and  after  the  bolts  are  in 
place  all  exposed  parts  of  the  bolts  and  nuts  should  be 

All  split  cavities  must  be  securely  bolted,  particularly 
near  the  upper  part.  If  the  split  comes  from  a  crotch,  all 
decayed  and  diseased  wood  should  be  removed  from  the 
split  and  creosote  and  tar  applied,  after  which  it  can  be 
bolted  just  beneath  the  crotch,  so  as  to  close  the  crack  or 
at  least  bring  the  parts  back  to  their  normal  position  in  case 
decayed  matter  has  been  excavated  from  the  crack.  If  the 
split  is  a  recent  one,  a  washing  of  creosote  only  will  usually 

Practical  Tree  Surgery.  175 

be  sufficient  before  drawing  the  sides  together  with  bolts. 
Under  certain  conditions,  particularly  in  large  trees,  it  may 
be  necessary  to  use  a  rope  and  tackle  blocks  to  pull  the  limbs 
together  some  distance  above  the  crotch,  in  order  to  properly 
close  the  crack  before  bolting  it.  When  the  tackle  blocks 
are  used,  care  must  be  taken  to  have  an  abundance  of 
bagging  or  other  padding  between  the  bark  of  the  limbs  and 
the  encircling  ropes.  All  exposed  edges  of- the  crack  must 
now  be  covered  with  thick  tar.  Limbs  above  split  crotches 
may  be  guyed.  If  there  is  a  cavity  in  the  crotch,  the  limbs 
above  it  must  be  guyed  before  this  cavity  is  filled. 


If  the  cavity  has  a  comparatively  large  opening  or  has 
little  or  no  undercutting,  it  is  the  custom  to  drive  flat- 
headed  wire  nails  into  the  wood  in  the  interior  in  order  to 
hold  the  cement  filling  firmly  in  place.  In  medium-sized 
cavities  nails  2\  or  3  inches  long  are  usually  driven  into 
the  wood  for  about  half  their  length  (PI.  XIX,  fig.  2).  The 
heads  of  the  nails  finally  are  completely  embedded  in  the 
cement  (PI.  XIX,  fig.  5).  If  the  cavity  is  already  bolted,  it 
may  not  be  necessary  to  use  many  nails,  because  the  bolts 
help  to  hold  the  cement  in  place. 


After  the  decayed  and  diseased  matter  has  been  com- 
pletely excavated  and  the  edges  of  the  sapwood  and  bark 
shellacked,  the  next  step  is  to  sterilize  the  interior  of  the 
cavity  in  order  that  all  germs  of  disease  or  decay  which  are 
present  may  be  killed  and  that  any  which  may  come  in  con- 
tact with  the  cut  surfaces  during  subsequent  operations  may 
be  destroyed.  As  already  stated,  creosote  appears  to  be  one 
of  the  best  preparations  to  use.  Every  cut  part  of  the 
wood  and  bark  must  be  creosoted,  and  over  this  a  heavy 
coating  of  tar  or  hot  asphalt  should  be  applied  before  the 
cavity  is  filled. 


A  good  grade  of  Portland  cement  and  clean,  sharp  sand 
free  from  loam  (1  part  of  cement  to  3  or  less  of  sand)  should 
be  used.     The  mixing  can  be  done  in  a  mortar  bin,  a  wheel- 

176  Yearbook  of  {he  Department  of  Agriculture. 

barrow,  a  pail,  or  in.  any  other  available  receptacle  tbat  is 
sufficiently  large.  A  quantity  of  dry  cement  and  sand  suffi- 
cient to  fill  the  cavity  should  be  thoroughly  mixed  before 
the  requisite  amount  of  water  to  make  a  rather  stiff  mortar 
is  added  and  the  whole  mixture  worked  to  an  even  con- 
sistency. In  large  cavities  fine  gravel  free  from  loam  is 
sometimes  substituted  for  the  sand. 


For  placing  the  mixture  in  the  cavity  a  mason's  flat  trowel 
and  an  ordinary  garden  trowel  with  a  curved  blade  will  be 
found  convenient.  A  tamping  stick,  1  or  2  inches  thick  and 
1  to  3  feet  long,  according  to  the  size  of  the  cavity,  will  be 
needed;  also  some  rocks  and  a  pail  of  water  if  the  cavity  is  a 
large  one.  A  layer  of  cement  2  or  3  inches  deep  can  now  be 
placed  in  the  bottom  of  the  cavity  with  the  garden  trowel 
and  tamped  firmly  in  place.  This  operation  is  repeated  until 
the  cement  is  8  to  12  inches  thick.  Wet  rocks  of  various  sizes 
may  be  embedded  in  the  cement  provided  they  do  not  reach 
within  an  inch  or  two  of  its  outer  face.  If  the  mixture  is  too 
wet,  it  will  tend  to  run  out  of  the  cavity  under  the  operation 
of  tamping.  If  too  little  water  has  been  used,  it  will  not  pack 
down  promptly.  The  top  of  the  8  to  12  inch  block  of  cement 
is  then  smoothed  with  the  flat  trowel  so  that  it  will  slant 
slightly  downward  from  back  to  front,  in  order  to  facilitate 
drainage.  Over  the  top  of  this  cement  block  a  double  or 
single  sheet  of  tarred  roofing  (or  thinner)  paper  is  placed  after 
it  has  been  cut  so  as  to  fit  the  cavity.  On  top  of  this,  another 
block  of  cement  is  built  as  soon  as  the  first  block  is  sufficiently 
hard  to  stand  the  weight  and  tamping  without  forcing  any  of 
it  out  at  the  bottom  of  the  cavity.  If  the  interior  of  the 
cavity  extends  well  above  the  level  of  the  external  opening,  it 
may  occasionally  be  necessary  to  bore  or  cut  a  downward 
slanting  hole  from  the  outside  to  the  top  of  the  interior  cavity, 
through  which  a  watery  mixture  of  cement  may  be  poured  to 
fill  the  upper  part  of  the  cavity  and  the  hole.  The  main 
opening  of  the  cavity  must  be  completely  closed  with  the 
stiffer  cement  before  this  watery  mixture  is  introduced. 
When  a  block  of  the  cement  has  partially  hardened,  it  will 
be  necessary  to  carefully  smooth  the  outer  surface  or  cut  it 
down  with  the  flat  trowel  to  the  level  of  the  cambium,  taking 

Yearbook  U.  S.  Dept.  of  Agriculture,  1913. 

Plate  XX. 

Cement  Cavity  Fillings,  Showing  Different  Types  and  Successive  Stages. 

Fig.  1.— A  large  cavity  in  an  elm  filled  with  cement  blocks  separated  bv  layers  of  tarred 
paper.  Fig.  2.— An  excavated  cavity  ready  for  treating  and  filling.  Fig.  3.— The  cavity 
shown  in  fig.  2,  which  has  been  nailed  and  partly  filled  with  cement.  The  ends  of  the  rods 
for  reinforcing  the  concrete  are  sprung  into  shallow  holes  in  the  wood.  The  wire  dam  is 
sometimes  allowed  to  remain  embedded  in  the  cement,  though  it  is  usually  removed  as  soon 
as  the  cement  has  partially  set.  Fig.  4.— A  later  stage  of  the  work  shown  in  fig.  3.  The 
height  of  the  wire  dam  has  been  increased.  Fig.  5.— The  same  cavity  shown  in  figs.  2,  3, 
and  4,  several  days  after  the  filling  was  completed. 

Yea'book  U.  S.  Dept.  of  Agriculture,  1  91  3. 

Plate  XXI. 

A  Damaged  Cement  Filling,  Types  of  Uncemented  Cavities,  and  Cross 
Section  Showing  Method  of  Attaching  a  Guy  Chain. 

A  cement  filling  badly  shattered  by  cold  weather  and  swaying  of  the  tree.  Fig.  2.— 
ross  section  of  a  tree  trunk,  showing  method  of  covering  cavities  with  sheet  metal.  Fig.  3. — 
Section  of  a  tree  trunk,  showing  a  simple  method  of  attaching  a  guy  chain  to  a  hook  bolt. 
Fig.  4. — \  long  cavity  with  nails  and  cement  reinforcing  rods  in  place,  ready  for  filling. 
This  cavity  should  have  been  bolted.  Fig.  5.— An  open  shallow  cavity  ready  for  creosote 
and  tar.    Shallow  cavities  of  this  type  are  not  usually  filled  with  cement. 


Yearbook  U.  S.  Dept.  of  Agriculture.  1913. 

Plate  XXII. 

Views  Showing  Proper  Method  of  Fastening  Guy  Chains  and  Bolts  and 
Improper  Method  of  Attaching  Wires. 

Fig.  1.— Limbs  of  an  elm  guyed  by  several  Independent  eha 

rig.  2.— A  split  crotch  that  has  been  guyed  l>y  means  of  a  Ion 

hains  1")  feet  above  the  crotches. 

. .  .1  guyed  by  means  of  a  long  bolt  about  Is  inches  above  the 

crotch.    J-ig. .!.— A  tupelo  tree  nearly  strangled  bv  telegraph  wires  wrapped  arr.ntid  the 

Practical  Tree  Surgery.  177 

great  care  that  the  latter  is  not  injured  in  the  operation 
(PL  XIX,  fig.  5,  and  PI.  XX,  fig.  1 ).  If  the  cement  is  allowed 
to  become  too  hard  to  trim  with  the  trowel,  it  can  still,  with 
more  or  less  difficulty,  be  cut  back  to  the  cambium  line  with 
a  cold  chisel  and  hammer.  It  is  a  rule  with  most  tree  sur- 
geons to  trim  back  the  outer  surface  of  the  cement  to  an  eighth 
of  an  inch  or  more  below  the  cambium  and  then  use  a  layer 
of  stronger  cement  (one  part  of  cement  to  one  to  two  of  sand) 
to  raise  it  to  the  level  of  the  cambium,  after  the  filling  has 
partially  hardened. 

The  thinner  mixtures  of  cement  will  set  more  firmly.  If 
any  mixtures  thinner  than  the  one  already  mentioned  are 
used  to  fill  a  cavity,  some  sort  of  cloth  or  wire  dam  will  have 
to  be  used  to  hold  the  cement  in  place  until  it  is  hard.  For 
this  purpose  strips  of  burlap  wrapped  tightly  around  the  tree 
so  as  to  cover  the  lover  part  of  the  opening  may  be  sufficient 
if  the  mixture  is  not  very  thin;  otherwise,  a  more  closely 
woven  fabric,  ouch  as  canvas  or  carpet,  may  be  used.  This 
dam  at  first  should  cover  about  a  foot  of  the  lower  part  of  the 
opening.  The  cavity  is  then  filled  with  cement  to  the  top  of 
the  dam.  Wet  rocks  may  be  embedded  in  the  cement  if  they 
are  kept  well  back  from  the  face  of  the  filling.  The  top  is 
smoothed  and  covered  with  tarred  paper,  as  already  described, 
the  height  of  the  dam  is  increased,  and  the  operation  repeated. 
Before  the  cement  has  become  too  hard,  the  dam  is  removed 
and  the  surface  of  the  cement  finished  in  the  usual  manner, 
either  to  the  level  of  the  cambium  at  once,  or  it  may  be  cut  a 
little  farther  back  and  a  finishing  layer  of  stronger  cement 
applied  to  bring  the  surface  to  the  proper  level.  The  surface 
of  the  cement  must  be  wet  before  the  stronger  finishing  layer 
is  applied. 

A  very  large  proportion  of  the  cemented  cavities  which  are 
seen  in  trees  at  the  present  time  are  made  in  one  piece,  with- 
out the  use  of  tarred-paper  partitions.  Long  cavities  of  this 
sort  are  particularly  subject  to  the  defects  mentioned  under 
the  next  topic,  and  one-piece  fillings  are  not  recommended 
except  for  short  cavities  where  these  particular  objections  do 
not  apply.  The  method  employed  is  only  a  slight  modifica- 
tion of  that  already  described  and  will  readily  be  understood 
by  a  study  of  Plate  XX,  figures  2,  3,  4,  and  5,  and  the  legends 
which  accompany  them.  These  figures  show  successive  stages 
of  work  in  the  same  cavity. 

27306°— YBK  1913—12 

178  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

The  edges  of  cement  fillings  in  the  crotches  of  limbs  are 
especially  difficult  to  keep  water-tight.  Besides  bolting  the 
cavity  and  guying  the  limbs  above  it,  the  crevices  at  the  edges 
of  such  cement  fillings  must  be  made  as  nearly  waterproof  as 
thick  tar  or  asphalt  can  make  them. 

After  the  cement  filling  has  become  thoroughly  dry,  the 
outer  face  may  be  painted  with  coal  tar  or  paint,  especially 
around  the  edges  where  cracks  are  likely  to  appear.  This 
should  not  be  done  for  several  weeks  after  the  cement  has 
been  put  into  the  cavity. 


Although  fillings  made  with  cement  mixtures  (cement 
mortar  and  concrete)  have  many,  and  oftentimes  serious, 
defects,  this  material  is  so  cheap  and  so  easily  handled  that  no 
other  at  the  present  time  is  so  generally  used  for  the  purpose 
in  this  country.  The  most  serious  defects  in  cement  mix- 
tures are  directly  due  to  the  hardness  and  rigidity  of  the 
cement  after  it  has  become  dry.  This  inflexibility  results 
in  cracks  appearing  across  the  cement  of  long  fillings  (where 
not  put  in  in  sections  or  blocks,  as  recommended  here)  as  the 
tree  sways  back  and  forth  in  the  wind  (PI.  XXI,  fig.  1).  Rods 
for  reenforcing  the  concrete  are  often  placed  in  large  cavi- 
ties which  are  to  be  filled  in  one  block  (PL  XXI,  fig.  4). 

During  a  cold  period  in  winter,  particularly  one  that  has 
been  preceded  by  warm  weather,  the  wood  of  an  unbolted 
cavity  may  draw  away  from  the  cement,  often  leaving  a 
comparatively  wide  crack  (PL  XXI,  fig.  1).  Sometimes,  by 
the  contraction  of  the  wood  on  a  cold  day,  the  tree  itself  will 
split  above  or  below  the  filling,  or  oven  through  the  cement 
when  the  cavity  has  been  nailed  but  not  bolted.  This 
cracking  may  be  prevented  to  some  extent  by  having  nailed 
cavities  with  a  vertical  partition  of  tarred  paper  extending 
throughout  tbe  length  of  the  filling.  On  the  other  hand,  the 
cement  filling  forms  a  surface  over  which  the  new  wood  and 
bark  can  form  during  the  growing  season,  and  if  the  de- 
cayed and  diseased  matter  in  the  cavity  is  entirely  removed 
before  the  cement  is  used,  it  very  largely,  if  not  entirely, 
checks  further  decay.  If  cracks  appear  in  the  cement,  or  the 
wood  draws  away  from  the  cement,  or  the  work  is  not  prop- 
erly done,  decay  organisms  may  again  gain  entrance  at  the 
edge  of  the  cement  and  cause  further  trouble. 

Practical  Tree  Surgery.  179 


There  is  such  abundant  promise  of  future  good  results 
from  the  use  of  asphalt  and  asphalt  mixtures  for  covering 
pruning  wounds  and  filling  cavities  that  it  seems  desirable 
to  say  a  few  words  regarding  asphalt,  although  at  the  present 
time  the  use  of  this  substance  to  fill  cavities  has  not  passed 
beyond  tbe  experimental  stage.  For  covering  large  wounds 
it  apparently  is  not  equaled  by  any  substance  that  has  been 
mentioned  in  this  article.  The  great  objection  to  its  use  is 
the  fact  that  it  has  to  be  kept  melted  and  applied  while  hot. 
This  makes  the  process  rather  cumbersome  and  inconvenient, 
which  in  itself  is  a  serious  objection  from  many  points  of 
view,  although  a  coating  of  asphalt,  properly  applied  at  the 
outset,  will  often  last  for  years  without  special  attention. 
The  use  of  asphalt  will  doubtless  eventually  overcome  many 
of  the  serious  faults  which  exist  in  cement  as  a  cavity  filler. 


Sheet  tin,  zinc,  and  iron  have  been  quite  extensively  used 
to  cover  cavities.  When  properly  applied,  these  coverings 
often  serve  to  keep  out  disease  and  insects  for  a  long  time. 
Oftentimes  they  are  improperly  applied,  or  the  cavity  is  not 
properly  treated.  Under  such  conditions  these  tin-covered 
cavities  are  a  greater  menace  to  the  tree  than  open  cavities. 
In  preparing  a  cavity  for  a  sheet-metal  covering,  all  the 
decayed,  diseased,  and  insect-eaten  wood  is  removed  in  the 
manner  indicated  under  cement  fillings,  with  two  exceptions : 
There  is  no  need  of  undercutting  the  cavity  and  there  should 
be  a  narrow  half-inch  ledge  of  wood  around  the  edge  of  the 
cavity  to  which  the  margin  of  the  sheet  metal  can  be  tacked. 
The  excavated  cavity  must  be  thoroughly  sterilized  and 
waterproofed.  The  sheet  metal  should  be  trimmed  so  that 
its  edges  will  exactly  fit  along  the  edges  of  the  bark.  The 
metal  can  then  be  placed  on  a  block  of  wood  and  holes  an 
inch  or  less  apart  punched  or  drilled  along  its  margin,  through 
which  long,  slender,  flat-headed  brads  may  be  driven  into  the 
ledge  of  wood  around  the  cavity.  The  edges  of  the  cavity 
and  the  inner  side  of  the  metal  should  now  be  freshly  tarred. 
The  metal  is  then  put  in  place  and  nailed  with  a  light  hammer, 
allowing  the  center  of  the  metal  to  curve  outward,  so  as  to 
conform  to  the  general  shape  of  the  trunk  (PL  XXI,  fig.  2). 

180  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

The  curving  of  the  sheet  metal  will  reduce  the  danger  of  its 
being  ripped  off  at  one  or  both  edges  as  a  result  of  the  expan- 
sion and  contraction  of  the  wood  caused  by  changes  of  tem- 
perature. Two  or  more  pieces  of  sheet  metal  with  over- 
lapping joints  should  never  be  used  unless  these  joints  are 
soldered  air-tight.  The  final  operation  is  to  tar  or  paint  the 
outer  surface  of  the  metal  cover,  taking  special  care  that  the 
tacked  edges  are  made  as  nearly  air-tight  and  waterproof  as 
tar  or  paint  can  make  them.  If  the  insect  tunnels  were  not 
all  gouged  out,  the  cavity  should  be  fumigated  by  saturating 
a  wad  of  cotton  waste  with  carbon  disulphid  and  suspending 
it  in  the  top  of  the  cavity  by  means  of  a  string  for  12  hours 
or  more  before  the  tin  is  finally  nailed  at  the  top.  During 
the  fumigating  process  the  cavity  must  be  tightly  closed. 


In  a  tree  which  is  not  considered  of  sufficient  value  to 
warrant  cleaning  and  filling  the  decayed  areas  or  covering 
them  with  tin,  these  may  be  excavated,  sterilized,  and  water- 
proofed (PI.  XXI,  fig.  5).  In  this  condition  they  can  often 
be  safely  left  for  years  if  the  waterproof  covering  is  renewed 
as  soon  as  cracks  or  blisters  appear.  Cavities  treated  in  this 
way  are  probably  as  safe  as  ordinary  tinned  or  cemented 
cavities  and  have  the  advantage  of  easy  inspection  from  time 
to  time.  Shallow  cavities  in  valuable  trees  may  be  very 
satisfactorily  treated  in  this  manner.  The  new  wood  and 
bark  produced  by  the  cambium  along  the  margins  will  form 
an  inwardly  rolled  edge  (in  the  manner  shown  in  PI.  XIX, 
fig.  1),  as  there  is  no  cement  or  tin  to  force  it  across  the 


As  a  general  rule,  tree  surgery  can  be  safely  undertaken  at 
almost  any  time  of  year  when  the  sap  is  not  running  too 
actively  and  the  weather  is  not  cold  enough  to  freeze  the 
cement.  In  most  trees  the  sap  wdl  interfere  with  the  work 
only  from  the  time  the  buds  begin  to  expand  in  the  spring 
until  the  leaves  are  full  grown.  Cement  work  will  be  ruined 
if  it  is  frozen  before  it  is  hard.  It  is  not  likely  to  be  injured 
by  frost  after  it  has  been  drying  for  a  week. 

Practical  Tree  Surgery.  181 


Closely  associated  with  the  work  of  tree  surgery  proper, 
and  often  an  indispensable  adjunct,  is  the  guying  of  limbs 
to  prevent  the  splitting  of  the  crotches  or  to  check  further 
splitting.  The  best  place  to  put  these  guys  depends  largely 
upon  the  shape  and  position  of  the  limbs  to  be  braced. 
This  varies  so  widely  in  different  trees  that  it  will  be  impos- 
sible to  give  very  specific  directions  for  this  kind  of  work. 

A  simple  method  of  guying  a  crotch  is  to  place  a  hook 
bolt  through  each  limb,  with  the  hooks  in  the  two  limbs 
toward  each  other  and  from  3  to  10  feet  or  more  above 
the  crotch  (depending  upon  the  size,  position,  and  length 
of  the  limbs)  and  slipping  the  end  link  of  a  stout  chain 
over  one  of  the  hooks  (PI.  XXI,  fig.  3) ,  while  at  the  proper 
place  in  the  chain  to  make  a  sufficiently  taut  guy  a  link  is 
slipped  over  the  other  hook.  The  rest  of  the  chain  can  then 
be  cut  away,  if  desired  (PI.  XXII,  fig.  1) .  Modifications  of  this 
method  may  be  used  where  three  or  more  adjoining  limbs 
are  to  be  guyed  collectively.  A  simple  method  is  to  place 
a  hook  bolt  through  each  limb  at  the  proper  place  and 
then  hook  a  link  of  the  chain  over  each  bolt  hook  at  any 
desired  point,  one  of  the  hooks  serving  to  hold  the  two  end 
links  of  the  chain.  The  precautions  already  mentioned 
under  "Bolting"  should  always  be  followed,  so  far  as  they 
apply  to  boring  and  tarring  the  hole  and  countersinking  the 
washers  of  the  bolts. 

A  turnbuckle  rod  or  bolt  is  much  better  than  a  chain 
when  the  guy  is  to  be  kept  perfectly  taut  at  all  times. 
Furthermore,  this  rod  permits  "a  ready  tightening  of  the 
guy  within  certain  limits,  should  it  later  become  necessary. 
If  for  any  reason  the  guy  is  to  be  placed  within  a  foot  or 
two  of  the  crotch,  a  single  long  bolt  can  often  be  used  to 
better  advantage  (PI.  XXII,  fig.  2),  and  sometimes  a  single 
long  bolt  can  be  used  in  place  of  a  chain  or  a  turnbuckle 
rod  where  the  guyed  limbs  are  not  likely  to  twist  much  as 
they  sway  in  the  wind. 

Occasionally  it  may  become  necessary  to  guy  a  whole 
tree  in  order  to  prevent  the  breaking  of  the  trunk  where  an 
unusually  large  cavity  leaves  only  a  thin  shell  of  sound 
wood,  or  to  prevent  the  tree  from  tipping  over.  This  can 
be  accomplished  by  attaching  four  guy  chains  or  ropes  to 

182  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

the  tree  about  halfway  from  the  ground  to  the  top  of  the 
tree  and  having  these  slant  downward  at  an  angle  of  about 
45°  to  four  short,  stout  posts  set  firmly  in  the  ground  about 
equidistant  around  the  tree  (e.  g.,  on  the  north,  east,  south, 
and  west  sides  of  the  tree).  The  method  of  attaching  the 
guys  securely  to  the  posts  is  immaterial.  The  method  of 
attaching  them  to  the  tree  is  important.  If  the  guying  is 
for  temporary  purposes  only,  two  broad  bands  of  leather 
or  stout  canvas  or  other  strong,  material,  each  long  enough 
to  make  a  loop  at  least  twice  the  diameter  of  the  trunk  or 
limb  to  be  encircled  and  4  to  6  inches  wide,  may  be  passed 
around  the  tree  or  some  favorably  situated  limb  and  two 
adjoining  guys  attached  to  each  loose  loop.  If  a  more  per- 
manent guying  is  needed,  two  eyebolts  (or  hook  bolts)  can 
be  placed  through  parallel  creosoted  holes  in  the  trunk  or 
limb  about  halfway  up  the  tree,  one  about  6  inches  above 
the  other.  The  eye  of  one  bolt  should  be  on  the  opposite 
side  of  the  tree  from  the  other.  Two  guys  from  two  adjoin- 
ing posts  are  attached  to  each  eyebolt.  The  chafing  of  a 
limb  against  a  guy  can  be  prevented  by  padding  the  guy 
if  the  latter  can  not  be  so  placed  as  to  clear  all  limbs. 

Limbs  or  trees  should  never  be  guyed  by  passing  wires, 
chains,  or  ropes  tightly  around  them.  These  may  eventu- 
ally strangle  the  portions  beyond  the  encircling  band.  En- 
circling fence  wires,  telegraph  wires,  clotheslines,  or  guy 
wires  will  act  in  the  same  way,  killing  all  parts  of  the  tree 
beyond  the  wires  if  these  remain  tightly  drawn  around  the 
limb  or  trunk  for  any  great  length  of  time — occasionally  in 
less  than  a  year  (PL  XXII,  fig.  3). 


Most  ornamental  and  shade  trees  having  only  a  few  dead 
limbs  are  unquestionably  worth  attention.  Others  which 
have  many  dead  limbs  or  numerous  decayed  areas  may 
not  be  worth  the  expense,  particularly  if  they  are  naturally 
rapid-growing,  short-lived  trees.  No  one  can  decide  better 
than  the  owner  of  a  tree  whether  it  is  worth  the  attempt 
to  save  it,  because  usually  the  actual  commercial  value  of 
an  ornamental  or  shade  tree  has  little  or  nothing  to  do 
with  the  decision.  It  is  generally  a  question  merely  of 
esthetic  value,  or  historic  associations,  or  rarity  of  the 
species.     A  man  who  has  had  experience  in  repairing  muti- 

Practical  Tree  Surgery.  183 

lated  or  diseased  trees  may  be  able  to  say  definitely  whether 
it  is  possible  to  save  the  tree,  but  the  owner,  who  pays  the 
bill,  is  the  one  who  will  have  to  decide  whether  the  tree  is 
worth  the  price  it  will  take  to  repair  it.  Often  the  owner 
will  realize  a  greater  degree  of  satisfaction  by  having  a 
badly  diseased  or  mutilated  tree  replaced.  In  expert  hands 
the  moving  of  large  trees  is  no  longer  a  hazardous  under- 



For  a  number  of  years,  but  particularly  within  the  last 
decade,  the  demand  for  reliable  men  to  repair  decaying 
ornamental  and  shade  trees  has  greatly  increased.  This  has 
led  many  persons  and  firms  to  take  up  this  class  of  work, 
often  as  their  main  line,  though  more  commonly  in  con- 
nection with  some  nearly  related  line  of  work.  At  the  pres- 
ent time  there  are  numerous  firms  upon  whom  the  property 
owner  may  call  if  he  prefers  to  hire  commercial  tree  surgeons 
to  attend  to  his  trees.  In  this  line  of  work,  as  in  others, 
will  be  found  the  honest  and  dishonest  man,  the  reliable 
and  unreliable  firm,  competing  for  contracts  to  care  for 
trees.  The  earlier  pages  of  this  article  have  been  devoted 
primarily  to  the  interests  of  the  man  who  prefers  to  attend 
to  his  own  trees,  or  to  have  one  of  his  regularly  employed 
workmen  do  it,  or  to  supervise  personally  the  work  being 
done  by  others.  The  remaining  pages  will  be  devoted  pri- 
marily to  the  interests  of  the  tree  owner  who  hires  com- 
mercial tree  surgeons  to  attend  to  his  trees. 


The  writer's  observation  of  the  workmen  employed  in 
commercial  tree  surgery  leads  to  the  conclusion  that  few 
have  any  knowledge  of  the  manner  of  growth  of  fungi  which 
cause  disease  in  trees,  or,  if  they  do  know  something  about 
it,  they  apparently  do  not  allow  this  knowledge  to  modify 
their  methods  appreciably.  It  is  extremely  important  that 
special  precautions  be  taken  when  a  contagious  disease, 
such  as  the  chestnut  bark  disease,  is  infecting  a  tree.  As 
an  illustration  of  how  two   types  of  firms  have  handled 

184  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

matters  of  this  nature  :n  the  past,  two  cases  out  of  many 
which  have  come  to  the  writer's  attention  are  cited. 

A  few  years  ago  a  firm  of  tree  surgeons  obtained  a  con- 
tract to  repair  the  trees  on  a  Long  Island  estate.  Among 
the  trees  was  a  very  large  old  chestnut,  which  was  much 
prized  hj  the  owner,  who  desired  to  have  it  saved.  The 
tree  was  badly  infected  with  the  bark  disease  and  was  far 
beyond  recovery  at  the  time  the  work  was  undertaken. 
However,  this  did  not  deter  the  contractors  from  doing  a 
great  amount  of  work  on  it,  including  excavating  a  cavity 
in  the  interior  of  the  tree  more  than  20  feet  long  and  from 
3  to  4  feet  in  diameter.  The  foreman  in  charge  informed 
an  inquirer  that  more  than  5  tons  of  cement  (concrete)  had 
been  used  in  filling  this  one  cavity  and  that  it  had  taken 
several  men  a  certain  number  of  weeks  to  do  the  work. 
On  the  clay  the  work  was  completed  the  spore  threads  of 
the  disease-producing  fungus  were  present  in  great  numbers 
in  the  furrows  of  the  bark  over  a  large  portion  of  the  trunk. 
The  tree  was  entirely  dead  in  less  than  12  months,  although 
the  superintendent  of  the  estate  was  assured  by  the  fore- 
man in  charge  of  the  work  that  the  tree  would  be  "alive 
and  flourishing  at  the  end  of  five  years'  time." 

In  contrast,  another  well-known  firm,  of  a  different  type, 
was  asked  to  repair  and  prune  a  large  chestnut  tree  on 
Long  Island.  The  price  was  to  be  governed  by  the  amount 
of  work  actually  done.  This  tree  had  several  dead  limbs 
and  was  supposed  to  be  defective  in  other  ways.  Before 
undertaking  the  work,  a  man  who  was  well  acquainted 
with  the  chestnut  bark  disease  was  asked  by  the  firm  that 
expected  to  get  the  contract  to  examine  the  tree.  This 
was  done.  The  examination  revealed  the  fact  that  the  tree 
had  numerous  areas  of  the  disease  on  the  trunk  and  that 
some  larger  limbs  had  been  killed  by  it.  Upon  receipt  of 
this  information  the  firm  declined  to  undertake  any  work 
on  the  tree,  although  a  half  day  had  been  consumed  in 
hauling  ladders,  tackle,  and  three  men  in  a  two-horse  team 
to  the  tree  in  order  that  a  thorough  preliminary  examination 
might  be  made. 

The  natural  inference  is  that  one  firm  had  no  interest 
beyond  collecting  a  good  sum  of  money  for  work  that  was 
worse  than  useless,  while  the  other  placed  the  maintenance 
of  a  good  reputation  ahead  of  everything  else.     One  firm 

Practical  Tree  Surgery.  185 

was  the  worst  type  of  enemy  to  honest  commercial  tree 
surgery;  the  other,  a  worthy  supporter  of  it. 


Unfortunately  for  tree  owners  and  the  trees  themselves, 
many  men  who  are  set  at  work  by  an  unreliable  contractor 
know  little  or  nothing  of  the  fundamental  principles  con- 
cerning the  life  history  of  a  tree.  In  their  ignorance,  such 
workmen  are  likely  to  make  serious  blunders  through 
neglecting  to  do  certain  important  things  the  reason  for 
which  they  can  not  understand.  The  faker  will  always 
slight  any  stage  of  the  work,  no  matter  how  important,  if 
evidence  of  his  neglect  can  be  effectually  obliterated  or 
hidden  by  subsequent  operations.  There  are  few  more 
favorable  opportunities  for  practicing  frauds  of  this  nature 
than  in  the  operation  of  filling  cavities  in  trees.  The 
decayed  and  diseased  wood  may  be  only  partially  removed, 
improper  or  no  antiseptic  coatings  used  in  the  cavity,  or 
no  proper  drainage  provided,  yet  no  one  can  tell  the  differ- 
ence after  the  cavity  has  been  filled  or  covered  unless  the 
filling  or  covering  be  removed.  A  cavity  filled  with  cement 
or  other  material  before  the  decayed  and  diseased  wood  has 
been  wholly  removed  is  nearly  comparable  to  a  tooth  from 
which  the  decayed  matter  has  been  only  partially  removed 
by  the  dentist  before  it  is  filled. 


Too  commonly  the  ordinary  workman  will  get  into  the 
top  of  a  tree  and  use  his  long  pruning  hook  to  break  off 
the  small  dead  branches,  in  the  same  manner  that  he  would 
use  a  club  for  a  like  purpose.  When  so  used,  the  pruning 
hook  will  inevitably  cause  many  injuries  to  the  young  bark 
of  adjoining  branches  and  make  wounds  through  which 
disease  and  decay  germs  can  enter.  In  this  manner  many 
new  openings  for  the  possible  entrance  of  disease  may  be 
created,  in  addition  to  the  one  already  existing  in  the  dead 
branch,  for  it  must  be  remembered  that  merely  breaking 
off  the  branch  does  not  prevent  decay  from  continuing  at 
this  point,  while  every  new  bruise  or  wound  may  furnish  a 
new  point  for  decay  to  enter. 

186  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 


On  various  occasions  we  have  seen  workmen  in  the  employ 
of  well-known  tree-surgery  firms  repeatedly  jab  their 
climbing  spurs  into  the  bark  on  horizontal  limbs  where  it 
would  have  been  much  easier  for  them  to  move  about  without 
using  spurs  at  all.  The  use  of  climbing  spurs  on  trees 
should  be  avoided,  or  at  least  severely  discouraged.  It 
would  be  best  if  they  were  never  used.  Every  wound 
made  by  one  of  these  spurs  may  become  the  center  of  a  new 
region  of  decay  if  conditions  favorable  for  the  growth  of 
decay  organisms  exist.  The  use  of  spurs  should  be  strictly 
prohibited  on  all  parts  of  a  tree  subject  to  a  contagious 
disease  above  ground,  especially  if  the  disease  is  known  to 
exist  in  the  vicinity.  A  man  who  uses  spurs  on  the  trunk 
or  on  limbs  that  can  readily  be  reached  by  a  light  ladder 
should  never  be  allowed  to  work  on  trees.  Firms  who 
permit  their  workmen  to  do  this  should  be  classed  as  unde- 
sirable or  dangerous  firms  to  deal  with  and  accordingly 
avoided.  Many  trees  have  been  irreparably  damaged  and 
left  in  far  worse  condition  after  ignorant  or  indifferent 
workmen  equipped  with  climbing  spurs  and  pruning  hooks 
have  worked  in  them  than  if  nothing  had  ever  been  done 
to  them.  The  edges  of  the  soles  and  heels  of  leather  shoes, 
to  say  nothing  of  protruding  nails,  commonly  cause  con- 
siderable injury  to  soft  and  tender  bark.  Probably  the  best 
and  safest  footwear,  from  the  point  of  view  of  preventing 
injury  to  the  tree,  is  some  form  of  rubber-soled  shoe,  such 
as  tennis  shoes  or  "sneaks."  All  properly  equipped  firms 
of  tree  surgeons  have  ladders  that  will  reach  40  or  50  feet 
or  more  into  a  tree.  Ladders,  ropes,  and  rubber-soled 
shoes  will  allow  a  man  to  reach  practically  every  part  of  a 
tree  that  can  be  reached  by  climbing  spurs. 

Reliable  estimates  indicate  that  it  takes  somewhat  longer 
(perhaps  25  per  cent  on  an  average)  to  do  the  required  work 
on  a  tree  when  ladders,  ropes,  and  rubber-soled  shoes  are 
used  instead  of  climbing  spurs.  Consequently,  it  may  be 
expected  that  contractors  will  have  their  workmen  use 
spurs  unless  these  are  specifically  prohibited. 

Practical  Tree  Surgery.  187 


Owners  who  contract  with  a  firm  of  tree  surgeons  to 
attend  to  their  trees  are  occasionally  quite  as  much  to  be 
blamed  for  the  resulting  poor  work  as  the  men  who  do  it. 
This  statement  refers  to  those  owners  who  get  an  estimate 
for  having  their  trees  repaired  in  a  proper  manner  by  men 
who  make  a  business  of  caring  for  trees,  and  then  say,  in 
effect,  "I've  got  only  half  that  amount  of  money  for  the 
work,  and  you  will  have  to  do  it  for  that  or  I  will  get  some 
one  else  to  do  it."  The  reliable  man  who  has  named  a 
price  that  will  insure  at  least  reasonably  good  work  has  to 
do  one  of  two  things  under  those  conditions;  either  he 
must  decline  to  do  the  work  or  he  must  lower  his  price. 
When  these  conditions  arise,  the  work  is  often  undertaken 
at  a  reduced  price.  This  generally  means  that  the  work 
has  to  be  of  a  cheaper  grade,  possibly  done  by  inexperienced 
men,  in  order  that  a  profit  can  be  realized.  A  wiser  course 
for  the  owner  would  have  been  to  put  his  available  money 
into  repairing  in  a  proper  manner  the  more  valuable  of  his 
trees,  leaving  the  less  valuable  ones  untreated. 

Perhaps  in  other  cases  the  owner,  after  getting  the  esti- 
mate for  good  work  from  a  reliable  firm,  will  go  to  another 
firm,  possibly  a  notoriously  unreliable  one,  and  obtain  a 
considerably  lower  price  for  the  work.  Commonly  in 
neither  instance  have  any  specifications  been  considered 
covering  just  what  should  be  done  to  the  trees  beyond  the 
assurance  of  the  contractor  that  the  trees  would  be  fixed 
up  "as  they  should  be"  or  "in  fine  condition."  With  no 
more  definite  understanding  than  this,  too  much  of  the 
work  in  the  past  has  been  done.  In  many  cases,  two  or 
three  years  later,  the  owner  learns  to  his  chagrin  (usually 
from  his  own  observations)  that  the  work  was  not  properly 
done  and  that  his  money  was  little  better  than  thrown 
away.  Property  owners  who  have  passed  through  expe- 
riences of  this  sort  are  often  the  bitterest  opponents  of  tree 
repairs  and  the  most  caustic  and  indiscriminate  critics  of  all 
persons  engaged  in  this  type  of  work.  It  might  be  well 
for  such  tree  owners  to  ask  if,  in  refusing  to  pay  the  price  for 
good  work,  or  in  permitting  incompetent  men  to  do  it 
merely  because  they  make  a  lower  bid  than  any  reliable 
man  could  afford  to,  they  themselves  are  not  equally  to  be 

188  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

blamed  for  the  poor  work.  Two  men  may  have  very  differ- 
ent standards  as  to  what  should  be  done  to  a  tree  or  what 
they  intend  to  do  to  it. 

With  the  completion  of  tree-surgery  work,  owners  usually 
fail  to  realize  the  importance  of  keeping  close  watch  of  their 
trees,  in  order  that  defects  which  appear  in  the  work  may 
be  remedied  promptly  and  that  new  injuries  elsewhere  on 
the  tree  may  have  immediate  attention.  If  a  tree  is  con- 
sidered by  its  owner  of  sufficient  value  to  warrant  having  it 
properly  and  carefully  treated  by  a  tree  surgeon,  it  certainly 
is  worth  the  slight  expense  of  subsequent  annual  or  biennial 
inspection  and  the  immediate  repair  of  newly  discovered 
injuries  at  a  time  when  the  expense  necessary  to  keep  the 
tree  in  good  condition  will  be  comparatively  small. 

It  should  be  borne  in  mind  that  scars  remaining  after 
large  limbs  have  been  removed  or  large  cavities  cemented 
are  commonly  unsightly  spots  for  years,  even  under  the  best 
of  conditions.  If  the  scar  is  a  large  one,  it  may  never  en- 
tirely heal  over  and  may  consequently  remain  a  conspicu- 
ous defect.  It  might  so  happen  that  a  particularly  large 
scar  would  be  too  unsightly  and  conspicuous  to  please  the 
owner,  should  the  decayed  matter  be  removed  properly 
and  the  cavity  filled.  Under  such  conditions  he  may 
realize  a  greater  amount  of  satisfaction  in  the  end  by  having 
the  diseased  tree  replaced  with  a  healthy  one.  For  several 
years  at  least  one  well-known  firm  of  nurserymen  has  been 
moving  large  trees  (with  trunk  diameter  of  a  foot  or  more) 
with  remarkable  success;  at  the  same  time  demonstrating 
the  possibility  of  moving  good-sized  healthy  trees  without 
their  showing  apparent  adverse  symptoms  afterwards. 
Thus  it  is  possible  often  to  replace  a  diseased  tree  with  a 
healthy  one  of  similar  size  without  having  to  wait  15,  20,  or 
more  years  for  it  to  attain  the  size  of  the  displaced  one. 


In  order  to  secure  better  results  in  the  future  than  have 
generally  been  attained  in  the  past,  and  to  put  commercial 
tree  surgery  on  a  basis  that  will  tend  to  eliminate  the  fakers, 
owners  are  urged  to  have  a  definite  written  contract  with 
tree  surgeons  whom  they  employ  to  take  care  of  their  trees. 

Practical  Tree  Surgery.  189 

The  best  results  can  generally  be  attained  when  payment  is 
to  be  based  upon  the  amount  of  work  done  plus  the  cost  of 
materials  used.  Probably  most  persons,  however,  will  pre- 
fer to  have  the  trees  examined  and  a  definite  price  agreed 
upon  before  any  work  is  undertaken.  In  either  case  there 
should  be  a  definite  written  understanding  concerning  at 
least  certain  important  phases  of  the  work,  in  addition  to 
price  and  methods  of  payment.  The  following  is  suggested 
as  a  model  for  such  contract: 

(1)  No  climbing  spurs  shall  be  used  on  any  part  of  a  tree. 

(2)  The  shoes  worn  by  the  workmen  shall  have  soft  rubber  bottoms. 

(3)  Ordinary  commercial  orange  shellac  shall  be  applied  to  cover  the 
cut  edges  of  sapwood  and  cambium  within  five  minutes  after  the  final 
trimming  cut  is  made. 

(4)  All  cut  or  shellacked  surfaces  shall  be  painted  with  commercial 
creosote,  followed  by  thick  coal  tar. 

(5)  All  diseased,  rotten,  discolored,  water-soaked,  or  insect-eaten  wood 
shall  be  removed  in  cavity  work  and  the  cavity  inspected  by  the  owner 
or  his  agent  before  it  is  filled. 

(6)  Only  a  good  grade  of  Portland  cement  and  clean,  sharp  sand  in  no 
weaker  mixture  than  1  to  3  shall  be  used  to  fill  cavities. 

(7)  The  contractor  shall  repair  free  of  expense  any  defects  that  may 
appear  in  the  work  within  one  year. 

If  the  owner  prefers  to  have  a  cavity  filled  with  asphalt  or 
other  material  instead  of  cement,  the  contract  can  be  altered 
accordingly.  If  it  is  desirable  to  substitute  some  other 
preparation  for  shellac,  this  can  be  done.  Similarly,  under 
certain  conditions,  various  other  modifications  may  be 
made,  although  alterations  in  Nos.  1,  2,  5,  and  7  should  be 
made  with  caution.  It  may  so  happen  that  if  all  insect- 
eaten  wood  is  removed,  the  tree  may  be  dangerously  weak- 
ened; under  such  conditions  the  diseased  matter  can  be 
removed  to  solid  wood  and  the  cavity  fumigated,  as  de- 
scribed under  "Tinned  cavities,"  or  the  tree  may  be 
guyed.  If  certain  crotches  are  split  or  particular  limbs 
on  some  trees  need  guying,  it  may  be  well  to  include  these 
items  in  the  contract.  It  may  be  desirable  to  include  a 
statement  of  just  what  limbs  shall  be  removed  from  partic- 
ularly choice  trees,  and  some  provision  should  always  be 
made  for  the  regular  inspection  of  the  trees  every  one  or 
two  years. 

190  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 


At  the  present  time  the  science  of  tree  surgery  has  not 
attained  the  recognition  and  approval  from  tree  owners  that 
it  deserves.  This  may  be  due  in  part  to  the  unfavorable 
impressions  created  from  experiences  with  fakers,  but  prob- 
ably primarily  from  the  disinclination  of  the  owners  to  spend 
much  money  in  preserving  their  trees  or  from  their  ignor- 
ance of  the  benefits  that  may  accrue  from  tree  surgery  when 
properly  done.  Reliable  tree  surgeons  are  doing  much  in  a 
practical  way  to  educate  the  public  as  to  the  benefits  of  tree 
surgery  Unfortunately,  the  unreliable  tree  surgeons  are 
doing  much  to  offset  it. 

There  are  methods  connected  with  the  work  that  may  in 
the  near  future  prove  to  be  far  superior  to  some  now  in  com- 
mon use  and  recommended  here.  At  present,  experiments  to 
test  the  efficiency  of  some  of  these  have  not  been  conclusive. 

The  Department  of  Agriculture  invites  correspondence, 
either  from  individuals  or  firms,  concerning  new  methods  of 
treatment  or  prospective  methods,  and  will  be  prepared  to 
advise  for  or  against  any  particular  method  so  far  as  expe- 
rience and  the  results  of  experiments  will  permit.  It  is  only 
by  cooperation  of  this  sort  that  tree  surgery  can  ultimately 
attain  the  position  that  it  deserves  in  the  estimation  of  the 
general  public. 

Finally,  tree  owners  are  urged  to  remember  at  all  times 
the  axiom:  The  need  of  tree  surgery  15  or  20  years  hence  may 
be  very  largely  obviated  by  promptly  attending  to  the  fresh 
injuries  of  to-day. 


By  M.  E.  Pennington, 
Chief,  Food  Research  Laboratory,  Bureau  of  Chemistry. 


MEAT  shortage  was  an  old  problem  to  other  nations 
when  our  Nation  was  in  its  infancy.  To  supplement 
their  supply  of  meat  they  turned  to  the  sea  for  fish  and  to 
the  poultry  yard  for  fowls,  both  eminently  desirable  and 
economical  sources  of  nitrogenous  foodstuffs. 

The  United  States  must  now  deal  with  the  problem  of 
meat  shortage.  The  settlement  of  our  vast  cattle  ranches 
and  the  breaking  up  of  the  great  pasturage  areas  into  cul- 
tivated farms  have  interfered  with  one  of  our  natural  sources 
of  a  meat  supply.  At  the  same  time  the  increase  in  the 
value  of  corn  has  made  cattle  raising  for  meat  purposes  a 
difficult  problem  on  the  small  farm.  We,  too,  apparently 
shall  have  to  turn  to  the  sea  and  to  the  poultry  yard  for 
nitrogenous  food. 

We  have  scarcely  begun  to  utilize  our  fisheries,  while  the 
possible  development  of  poultry  raising  and  egg  production 
is  so  common  a  topic  in  the  popular  press,  as  well  as  in  the 
more  stable  advice  and  instruction  furnished  by  the  many 
agencies  now  assisting  the  faimer,  that  it  is  reasonable  to 
expect  more  poultry  and  better  poultry  within  a  compara- 
tively short  period.  Poultry  must  be  raised.  This  neces- 
sarily requires  some  time,  even  though  it  be  much  shorter 
than  that  required  for  cattle  production.  The  supply  of 
fish,  on  the  other  hand,  is  literally  in  sight  and  may  be  had 
for  the  catching,  a  process  which  requires  some  capital  and 
trained  labor,  but  which  is  infinitely  simpler  than  the  hatch- 
ing, feeding,  housing,  and  slaughtering  involved  in  poultry 

One  of  the  greatest  difficulties  in  the  way  of  utilizing  our 
piscatorial  resources  is  the  ignorance  of  the  American  people, 
especially  of  the  native-born,  well-to-do  people,  in  regard  to 
the  kinds  of  food  fishes,  their  desirability  as  foods  from  the 
viewpoint  of  both  nutriment  and  palatability,  and  the 
methods  of  cooking  which  tend  to  enhance  their  food  value. 



Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

We  have  been  so  accustomed  to  meat  as  the  nitrogenous 
piece  de  resistance  oi  any  meal  that  fish,  if  eaten  at  all,  is 
merely  an  entree  used  more  in  deference  to  the  established 
customs  of  the  Old  World,  or  to  religious  tenets,  than  in 
response  to  a  demand  on  the  part  of  the  American  diner. 
Yet  Americans  are  delighted  at  the  delicacy  of  English 
whitebait,  at  the  fine  flavor  of  the  sole  cooked  in  Paris,  and 
at  the  appetizing  aroma  of  the  smoked  salmon  in  the  sand- 
wich so  universally  served  in  Germany. 

We  quite  forget  that  the  sand  dab  of  the  southern  Cali- 
fornia coast  more  than  equals  the  English  sole;  that  the 
pompano  of  our  southern  waters,  the  whitefish  of  the  Great 
Lakes,  and  the  mackerel  and  bluefish  of  the  east  coast  are 
not  surpassed  by  any  of  the  finny  delicacies  served  in  Europe, 
and  that  the  delicious  salmon  in  the  German  sandwich  is 
more  than  likely  the  product  of  our  own  Pacific  fisheries 
exported  to  Germany  because  it  finds  comparatively  scant 
favor  at  home. 

There  is  also  a  common  belief  that  fish  does  not  furnish  us 
with  as  much  high-grade  food  material  as  meat.  Analyses 
of  meat  and  fish,  however,  show  an  encouraging  similarity 
in  protein  content,  as  may  be  seen  from  the  following  figures : 

Protein  content  of  meat  and  fish. 

Kind  of  meat. 

Per  cent 
of  protein. 

Kind  offish. 

of  protein. 













The  foreign-born  population  of  the  United  States  are  the 
fish  consumers  of  the  Nation.  They  have  brought  fish-eating 
habits  with  them  from  nations  where  fish,  not  meat,  is  the 
more  common  nitrogenous  food.  Whereas  we  have  done 
comparatively  little  to  stimulate  our  fisheries,  the  older 
nations  have  expended,  and  now  are  expending,  every  effort 

Supplementing  our  Meat  Supply  with  Fish.  193 

to  gather  the  crops  that  the  waters  yield  so  abundantly,  and 
to  deliver  them  cheaply  and  in  prime  condition  to  their 
people  not  only  along  the  coast  but  to  extreme  inland  towns. 


England  knows  she  can  produce  only  a  portion  of  her  meat 
supply,  but  she  believes  she  can  produce  all  her  fish  supply 
and  also  export  to  other  countries.  England's  fisheries,  as  a 
source  of  her  food  supply,  are  considered  of  very  great  impor- 
tance, and  the  fishing  fleet  is  recognized  as  bearing  an 
important  relation  to  her  navy.  An  enormous  quantity  of 
fish  is  caught  in  the  fisheries  of  the  United  Kingdom  (in  1912 
the  catch  amounted  to  2,698,400,544  pounds,  valued  at 
$64,405,334),  and  it  is  distributed  speedily  and  in  very  good 
condition.  All  these  factors  help  to  make  fish  not  only  a 
relatively  cheap  food  article  but  also  a  popular  one.  Her- 
ring is  the  most  important  catch,  and  the  most  important 
fish  export  going  salted  or  cured  in  large  quantity  to  Russia 
and  Germany. 


While  the  United  Kingdom  encourages  her  fisheries,  it  has 
remained  for  Germany  to  take  up  active  pioneer  work  in 
developing  the  production  and  extending  the  consumption 
of  fish,  especially  in  the  fresh  condition. 

The  German  Government  has  expended  large  sums  for  the 
construction  of  fish  harbors  at  Geestemunde,  Emden,  Cux- 
haven,  and  other  ports.  To  encourage  herring  production, 
the  State  has  been  paying  about  $952  as  bounty  toward  the 
building  of  each  sailing  vessel,  and  adding  from  $952  to  $1,428 
to  that  sum  for  equipment.  German  ports  have  exempted 
all  fishing  vessels,  regardless  of  nationality,  from  the  payment 
of  tonnage  dues.  Such  methods  have  resulted  in  a  decided 
growth  of  Germany's  fishing  fleet.  Por  example,  between 
1899  and  1909  the  sailing  luggers  engaged  in  fishing  increased 
from  101  to  190,  and  the  steam  luggers  from  9  to  62.  The 
number  of  steam  drifters  increased  from  108  to  217  between 
1904  and  1911.  Yet  Germany,  as  we  shall  see  later,  can  not 
begin  to  supply  her  growing  demand  for  fish. 

Low  transportation  rates  have  been  made  to  encourage 
the  shipping  of  fish  to  inland  districts.  For  example,  fish 
are  sent  by  express  freight  at   the   ordinary  freight  rate, 

27306°— YBK  1913 13 

194  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

which  is  one-half  of  the  express  rate.  The  fastest  passenger 
trains  are  also  used  for  fish  shipments,  the  freight  rate  in 
this  case  being  again  one-half  of  that  regularly  charged.  In 
other  cases,  such  as  when  fish  are  caught  by  German  vessels 
and  salted  at  sea,  a  certain  number  of  miles  is  deducted  from 
the  distance  to  be  traversed,  thereby  reducing  the  total  cost. 
From  Geestemunde,  alone,  from  3  to  7  fish  trains  are  made 
up  daily  and  dispatched  inland. 

The  efforts  of  the  Government  to  extend  fisheries  are 
supplemented  by  the  German  Sea  Fishery  Association.  To 
this  association  the  trawling  companies  pay  $16.60  per 
vessel,  the  funds  being  used  for  the  advancement  of  the 
industry  in  general. 


One  phase  of  the  work  of  the  association  and  one  which  is 
supported  by  the  Government,  is  the  education  of  the  people 
regarding  the  kinds  of  fish  and  their  desirability  as  a  food. 
"A  series  of  cookery  lessons  was  started  in  Berlin  and  other 
large  cities,  using  moving  pictures  to  show  the  methods  of 
fishing  and  the  varieties  of  fish,  and  to  aid  in  explaining  their 
food  value.  This  movement  was  enthusiastically  received 
and  at  present  articles  are  frequently  being  written  and 
issued  in  pamphlet  form  which  contain  helpful  and  heretofore 
little  known  facts  regarding  sea  fish  and  the  best  methods 
of  preparing  them  for  the  table.  As  a  consequence  the  taste 
for  fish  has  spread  amazingly  and  the  various  trawling  con- 
cerns have  entered  upon  an  era  of  prosperity  which  seems 
likely  to  be  permanent."1  Naturally,  such  an  educational 
campaign  has  created  an  exceptional  demand  for  fish,  not 
only  near  the  sea,  but  more  especially  inland,  where  the  peo- 
ple, like  our  own  inland  population,  know  practically  nothing 
of  sea  fish  nor  how  to  cook  them. 

Germany  has  very  wisely  turned  her  attention  to  the 
handling  of  fish  so  as  to  preserve  quality  and  prevent  waste. 
Her  vessels,  like  our  own,  go  long  distances  for  their  catch. 
Hence  the  fish  must  be  packed  with  care  if  they  are  to 
reach  the  market  in  good  order.  Some  of  the  newer  ves- 
sels are  provided  with  refrigeration  to   aid  in   preserving 

1  Daily  Consular  Report,  Jan.  25, 1913. 

Supplementing  our  Meat  Supply  with  Fish.  195 

freshness.  At  Geestemunde,  especially,  much  attention  is 
given  to  the  preservation  of  food  fish,  thereby  preventing 
market  gluts  and  utilizing  as  food  many  fish  that  would 
formerly  have  been  turned  over  to  fertilizer  or  oil  factories. 


Though  Germany  has  placed  an  import  duty  on  fish  not 
caught  in  German  vessels,  she  is  still  forced  to  draw  heavily 
on  other  than  German  fisheries  for  her  supply.  She  never 
has  enough  herring,  despite  the  fact  that  Great  Britain  sends 
over  a  million  barrels  of  the  salted  fish  yearly;  Scotland  finds 
Hamburg  its  best  market  for  its  herring  trade;  and  Norway, 
Sweden,  and  the  Netherlands  each  contribute  heavily.  We 
send  to  German  markets  some  of  our  very  best  fish,  espe- 
cially salmon,  for  which  Germany  is,  by  far,  our  biggest 
customer.  Between  1905  and  1910,  inclusive,  we  sent  to 
her  over  $11,500,000  worth  of  fresh  and  cured  salmon,  most 
of  which  came  from  our  North  Pacific  fisheries.1  Germany 
uses  part  of  this  fish  fresh — we  send  the  splendid  "  steelhead  " 
salmon  hard  frozen — and  smokes  most  of  the  fish  which 
is  sent  in  pickle. 

The  smoked-fish  industry  in  Germany  is  very  important, 
and  by  the  clever  methods  in  use  many  fish  rather  unpopular 
in  the  fresh  condition  are  rendered  salable  at  relatively 
high  prices. 


Many  ways  of  distributing  fish  have  been  devised  in 
Germany,  ranging  from  auctions  at  large  fish  ports  to  munic- 
ipal sales  in  the  large  cities.  Berlin,  for  example,  has  held 
semiweekly  sales  of  fish  at  cost  in  the  public  market  halls 
to  reduce  the  cost  of  living.  The  sales  were  said  to  be  suc- 
cessful and  were  extended  to  certain  department  stores 
which  retail  fish.  The  fish  sold  by  the  Municipal  Market 
Hall  Committee  were  from  1.7  to  1.9  cents  per  pound  cheaper 
than  those  sold  by  the  retailers.  Under  any  circumstances, 
however,  the  price  of  fish  in  Germany  is  much  lower  than 
the  price  of  meat,  as  may  be  seen  from  the  comparisons 

i  Cobb,  John  N.    The  Salmon  Fisheries  of  the  Pacific  Coast.    Bureau  of  Fisheries,  Doc. 
No.  751. 

196  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

Com  parative  Prices  oj  Meat  and  Fish  in  Germany. 

Kind  of  meat. 

High-grade  beef  in  Berlin,  1911. 
Fresh-carcass    veal  In   Berlin; 


Fresh-carcass  mutton  in  Berlin, 


Fresh-carcass  lamb  in  Berlin, 


Price  per 


17. 9  to  23.  8 

13.0  to  18. 6 

15. 1  to  19  9 

Kind  of  fish. 

Haddock,  at  auction  at  Cux- 

haven,  March,  1913 






Price  per 

2.2  to  9.6 
1.7  to  4.9 
.8  to  1.1 
18.  C  to  32. 4 
8.  7  to  IS.  8 
1.4  to   2.6 

Despite  these  prices  for  fish,  however,  our  fishermen  are 
sending  hard  frozen  steelhead  salmon  in  carload  lots  from 
the  Pacific  to  Germany  because  the  German  market  is  a 
good  one,  and  because  "Germany  will  pay  the  price  for  a 
high-grade  fish  and  our  people  will  not." 

The  esteem  in  which  fish  is  held  in  Europe  may  be  illus- 
trated by  the  rapid  decrease  in  the  number  of  factories 
making  fertilizer,  oil,  etc.,  out  of  excess  catches  or  of  fish 
not  hitherto  considered  as  edible.  In  Sweden,  for  example, 
20  factories  were  operating  in  1895-96,  producing  12,300 
barrels  of  oil  and  14,170  tons  of  fertilizer.  Now  but  two 
of  these  factories  are  running,  because  all  the  herring  avail- 
able for  food  that  Sweden  can  spare  are  being  used  as  food  in 
Germany  and  England. 


Norway  also  has  a  growing  fishing  industry  and  neces- 
sarily so,  since  her  agriculture  seems  to  be  practically  sta- 
tionary. Formerly  agriculture  stood  first,  lumbering,  in- 
cluding paper  manufacturing,  second,  and  the  fishing 
industry  third  in  the  employment  of  people.  The  value 
of  the  crops  of  hay,  grain,  and  potatoes  in  1903  was  $56,- 
796,436,  while  in  1912  they  realized  only  $57,834,400.  The 
value  of  the  fish  caught  in  Norway  during  1911  amounted 
to  more  than  fourteen  million  dollars.  The  herring  trade 
alone  amounted  to  nearly  three  million  dollars  and  canned 
sardines  (bristling)  were  valued  at  nearly  four  million. 

Manufacturing  has  greatly  increased  in  Norway  during  the 
past  five  years,  and  this  tendency  is  reflected  in  the  growth 
and  development  of  fish  canneries  and  fish  by-product  fac- 

Supplementing  our  Meat  Supply  with  Fish.  197 

tories.  The  increased  production  which  marks  each"  year  is 
quickly  and  readily  absorbed,  however,  and  still  Germany 
wants  more  herring. 


Our  next-door  neighbor,  Canada,  reported  for  the  year 
1911  to  1912  a  fish  industry  which  totaled  $34,667,872. 
Never  before  had  the  value  reached  the  thirty-million  mark. 
The  most  valuable  fish  to  Canada  is  the  salmon,  aggregating, 
in  1912,  113,673,200  pounds,  worth  $10,333,070.  Lobsters 
stand  second,  with  a  value  of  nearly  five  million.  Canada 
sends  fish  to  practically  the  whole  importing  world,  and  is 
awake  to  the  resources  of  both  sea  and  inland  waters. 


The  size  of  the  industry  in  the  United  States  has  not  been 
reckoned  with  certainty  since  1908.  During  that  year  the 
amount  of  our  fish  and  fishery  products,  exclusive  of  Alaska, 
was  1,893,454,000  pounds;  including  Alaska,  we  produced 
2,111,267,415  pounds.     The  distribution  of  this  catch  was  as 

follows : 

Fish  catch  of  the  United  States  in  1908. 




217, 813, 415 









65, 877, 443 

It  will  be  seen  that  the  Atlantic  coast  produces  69  per  cent 
of  the  products  if  Alaska  is  excluded,  and  the  Pacific  coast 
ranks  second,  with  products  valued  at  13  per  cent.  The 
fresh-water  fisheries,  with  a  value  of  13  per  cent,  are  also  seen 
to  be  enormously  productive. 

The  Alaskan  fisheries  have  developed  very  rapidly  during 
the  last  few  years,  both  in  quantity  produced  and  in  breadth 
of  distribution.  In  1912  the  value  of  all  Alaskan  fish  and  fish 
products  was  $18,877,480,  a  gain  of  more  than  seven  million 
dollars  in  four  years.     Of  this  sum  $311,307  represents  the 


Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

value  of  Whale  oil,  fertilizer,  and  baleen,  an  almost  negligible 
quantity  when  compared  with  the  total. 

The  most  valuable  fish  to  Alaska  is  the  salmon,  which  is 
canned,  pickled,  frozen,  and  shipped  fresh-caught. 

Statistics  of  Alaska  salmon. 

Preparation  for  market. 

•  Quantity. 


4, 056, 021 

4, 195, 843 

34, 750 








Fresh  caught. .  . . 








17, 133, 142 


The  nations  of  Europe,  with  the  exception  of  Kussia, 
are  forced  to  depend  upon  their  sea  fisheries  for  the  bulk 
of  the  supply.  We  have  not  only  our  great  length  of  Pacific 
and  Atlantic  coasts,  but  we  have  also  the  Gulf  of  Mexico 
and  the  Great  Lakes,  sources  from  which  our  inland  territory- 
may  readily  be  supplied.  These  waters  are  practically 
inexhaustible.  We  hear  constantly  of  the  great  decrease 
in  the  catch  of  certain  fish,  such  as  the  shad  and  sturgeon, 
and  of  the  practical  annihilation  of  some  fish  in  definite 
localities,  such  as  the  salmon  in  New  England,  but  it  must 
be  remembered  that  these  statements  apply  only  to  those 
fish  which  make  their  way  into  rivers  to  spawn,  entering  in 
great  numbers  during  a  comparatively  short  period  of  time 
and  so  rendering  their  capture  simple.  It  must  be  remem- 
bered, also,  that  many  of  the  fish  spawning  far  up  fresh- 
water streams  die  as  soon  as  spawning  is  over.  The  propa- 
gation of  the  race,  therefore,  depends  upon  the  preservation 
of  the  fry.  Our  industrial  growth  has  taken  but  little 
account  of  these  tiny  fish.  We  have  constructed  dams 
and  power  wheels  and  permitted  factories  to  discharge 
poisonous  chemicals,  and  in  many  most  effectual  ways  de- 
stroyed the  nurseries  that  had  harbored  the  young  fish  until 
they  were  strong  enough  to  swim  to  the  sea,  and  too  large 
to  be  a  comfortable  mouthful  for  the  voracious  big  fish, 
many  of  which  are  almost  unbelievably  cannibalistic. 

Supplementing  our  Meat  Supply  with  Fish.  199 

Our  eastern  coast  has  almost  lost  the  sturgeon  and  the 
salmon,  and  the  run  of  shad  is  dwindling.  The  west  coast  is 
facing  a  like  diminution,  if  not  extinction,  of  the  salmon, 
unless  it  heeds  the  warning  of  the  East  and  insures  protection 
for  the  river-traYeling  fish  against  the  ever  increasing 
manufactories,  and  provides  sufficient  spawning  and  nursery 
grounds  for  the  development  of  the  youngsters. 

For  example,  myriads  of  salmon  travel  up  the  Columbia 
River  each  year  to  spawn  in  the  little  mountain  streams, 
and  die  there  after  the  spawning  is  over.  In  the  olden  days 
these  fry  worked  their  way  down  the  little  streams,  where 
their  enemies  were  comparatively  few,  into  the  lakes  that 
emptied  into  the  rivers,  and  there  they  lived  and  grew  until 
4  or  5  inches  long — -"fingerlings,"  as  the  fish  culturists  say — 
when  they  were  strong  enough  to  compete  with  the  river 
fish  on  their  run  to  salt  water.  Now  the  agriculturist  and  the 
manufacturer  of  the  western  slope  have  found  those  lakes 
ideal  reservoirs  for  irrigation  purposes,  or,  very  often,  for 
power,  so  they  have  built  dams  and  great  turbines — and 
what  can  a  "fingerling"  do  against  such  obstructions  as 
those  ?  The  fishermen  on  the  west  coast  say  it  is  just  a  case 
of  the  survival  of  the  most  profitable— if  agriculture  and 
manufacturing  are  to  dominate,  the  salmon  finally  mu3t  go. 
But  those  who  are  interested  in  supplying  this  great  country 
with  food  hope  that  before  it  is  too  late  enough  runs  and 
nurseries  will  be  provided  to  preserve  to  the  people  a  supply 
of  these  splendid  fish  that  are  already  world  renowned. 

Not  even  in  the  dimmest  distance,  however,  can  we  see  any 
diminution  in  the  number  of  fish  in  the  ocean.  Even  in 
our  Great  Lakes  it  would  seem  that  we  have  an  unlimited 
supply.  According  to  practical  fishermen,  there  were  more 
fish  in  sight  in  the  Great  Lakes  in  the  season  of  1910  than 
ever  before. 


For  uncertainty  of  harvest,  however,  fishing  exceeds  even 
the  most  unreliable  crops  with  which  agriculture  has  to  deal. 
With  all  the  sea  to  swim  in,  with  powers  of  speed  and  endur- 
ance, with  habits  that  are  quite  unknown  to  us,  even  such 
universal  market  fish  as  bluefish  and  mackerel  are  sometimes 
taken  by  the  fishermen  in  enormous  quantities  and  again  are 
almost  absent  from  the  catches  for  a  long  time.     These  flush 

200  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

and  scarce  periods  may  exist  for  years,  giving  rise  to  the 
statements  of  depletion,  but  sooner  or  later  large  schools 
again  frequent  the  old  grounds  and  the  catches,  both  in  num- 
bers and  weight,  are  undiminished.  The  seasons  for  the  mi- 
gratory fishes  are  as  sharply  defined  as  they  are  for  agricultural 
products.  When  the  season  has  passed  the  fish  disappear 
and  are  not  seen  again  until  the  following  year,  or  they  may 
run  biennially,  triennially,  or  quadrennially.  Even  when 
the  run  is  on,  a  storm,  a  change  of  wind,  or  some  inexplicable 
cause  may  turn  the  fish  quite  aside  from  their  usual  course 
where  traps,  nets,  or  other  fishing  gear  await  them,  or  may 
cause  them  to  take  to  deep  water  where  they  can  not  be 
caught.  Even  the  staple  varieties  may  give  the  fishermen 
the  slip,  hence  it  can  readily  be  seen  that  with  fresh-caught 
fish  only  to  depend  on,  market  prices  may  fluctuate  widely, 
since  the  number  of  varieties  known  to  the  consumer  is  com- 
paratively small.  Since  fish  have  been  preserved  by  freezer 
storage  there  has  been  greater  uniformity  of  supplies  and 


As  a  general  rule  the  dominant  fish  in  a  market  are  pro- 
duced comparatively  near  by.  The  catch  of  the  Atlantic, 
for  example,  stays  almost  entirely  east  of  the  Alleghenies, 
except  that  which  is  canned  or  otherwise  preserved,  which, 
of  course,  goes  all  over  the  country  and  is  exported.  The 
Gulf  and  the  Lakes  and  the  Mississippi  supply  the  interior  and 
ship  but  little  over  the  eastern  range.  The  Pacific  coast,  on 
the  other  hand,  sends  two  staple  varieties  of  fish  throughout 
the  country,  namely,  halibut  and  salmon.  These  fish  are 
sent  (on  express  schedule)  across  the  continent  in  carload 
lots,  packed  in  fine  ice,  and  constitute,  with  red  snapper  from 
the  Gulf,  most  of  the  salt-water  fish  supply  of  the  interior. 
The  distribution  of  Pacific  salmon  and  halibut  extends  also 
to  the  Atlantic  coast  cities,  which  are  heavy  consumers. 
For  some  of  our  fish  we  are  sending  to  Canada.  Smelts, 
lobsters,  and  salmon  come  to  us  in  quantity  from  Canadian 
waters,  as  does,  also,  much  of  the  "winter  caught"  fresh- 
water fish.  The  latter  are  obtained  by  cutting  a  series  of 
holes  through  the  ice,  stringing  gill  nets  from  hole  to  hole, 
and  pulling  the  nets  up  through  the  holes  to  remove  the 

Supplementing  our  Meat  Supply  with  Fish.  201 

catch.  This  fishing  is  done  when  the  temperature  is  below 
the  freezing  point,  sometimes  at  40°  below  zero,  Fahrenheit, 
and  the  fish  are,  therefore,  frozen  almost  immediately  upon 
their  removal  from  the  water.  They  are  boxed  and  held  on  the 
ice  until  hauled  by  teams  to  refrigerator  cars  and  so  shipped 
to  cold-storage  plants  in  cities.  The  unparalleled  freshness 
of  low  temperature  weather  frozen  fish,  even  after  months  of 
storage,  is  a  strong  argument  for  the  installation  of  fish 
freezers  as  near  the  source  of  production  as  possible. 


The  usual  consumer  near  the  seacoast  has  no  idea  of  the 
many  kinds  of  fish  that  are  to  be  found  in  his  market,  nor  of 
their  seasonal  variation.  The  east  coast  housewife  asks  her 
fish  dealer  for  halibut,  cod,  bluefish,  weakfish,  or  pan  fish;  the 
West  coast  housewife  has  a  little  wider  range,  yet  even  with  her 
halibut  and  salmon  are  so  decidedly  in  the  ascendancy  that 
sole  and  shad  go  a-begging  at  5  cents  a  pound  retail.  In 
point  of  fact,  the  eastern  coast  markets  carry  the  following 
"staple  varieties"  which  may  be  had  the  year  around: 

Staple  varieties  offish. 

Salt-water  fish. 

Fresh-water  fish. 



Ciscoes  (lake  herring) 


Porgies  or  scup. 

Lake  trout. 

Flukes  or 


Salmon,  western. 



Sea  bass. 

German  carp. 



Buffalo  carp. 





Whiting  (silver  hake 


Certain  other  varieties  are  produced  in  smaller  quantities, 
but  fairly  continuously,  and  are  known  as  "limited  staple 


Limited  staple  varieties  offish. 

Salt-watet  fish.  Fresh-water  fish. 

Butter  fish.  Skate.  Pike  perch. 

Bonitas.  "  Sheepshead. 

Blackfish  (tautog).  Sea  trout,  southern. 

Eels.  Squid. 

"Fancy  varieties"  come  in  such  small  quantities  or  during 
such  limited  seasons  or  from  such  a  distance  that  the  supply 
can  not  be  relied  upon. 

202  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

Fancy  varieties  offish. 

Brook  trout.  Striped  bass.  Salmon  trout. 

Kingfish.  Sturgeon.  Searing. 

Pompano.  Spanish  mackerel.  White  bait. 

Red  snapper.  Salmon  (Atlantic).  White  perch. 

Even  this  long  list  does  not  by  any  means  include  all  the 
fishes  that  are  sold  for  food  in  our  markets.  The  Middle 
West  would  ordinarily  add  catfish,  suckers,  yellow  perch, 
sunfish,  and  blue  pike;  the  west  coast  would  add  barracuda, 
sand  dabs,  sole,  tomcods,  and  turbot;  and  the  markets  on 
the  Gulf  would  display  an  amazing  collection  of  sea  food  of 
strange  form  and  color,  but  most  appetizing  when  prepared 
for  the  table  according  to  the  French  methods  still  in  vogue 
in  that  region. 

A  visit  to  any  large  wholesale  fish  market  in  the  United 
States  is  a  voyage  of  discovery  to  most  consumers.  They 
will  there  see  more  kinds  of  fish  for  sale  than  they  had  sup- 
posed in  the  sea.  But  such  a  market  displays  little  variety 
when  compared  with  the  fish  market  of  the  "Halle  Centrale" 
in  Paris,  or  the  wonderful  market  on  the  Grand  Canal  in 
Venice.  Spread  out  in  trays,  garnished  with  green  and  red 
and  brown  seaweeds,  arranged  to  catch  the  eye  by  beauty  of 
color  and  design,  are  delicacies  that  our  fishermen  never 
trouble  to  bring  on  shore  because  we  do  not  consider  them 
desirable  food.  The  praised  soup  served  in  Naples  was  made 
from  a  member  of  the  cuttlefish  family — a  "squid" — eaten 
here  only  by  Italians,  and  used  for  bait  by  our  fishermen. 
The  much  desired  "raie  au  beurre  noir"  of  Paris  is,  in  plain 
English,  just  a  piece  of  skate,  or  ray,  that  would  not  be 
salable  in  an  American  market. 


In  these  days  of  high  prices  for  nitrogenous  foodstuffs  it 
is  of  interest  to  note  the  prices  of  fresh-caught  fish  prevailing 
in  Fulton  Market,  New  York  City,  for  the  five-year  period 
between  1907  and  1911.1  Ten  staple  varieties  of  fish  are 
chosen,  namely,  halibut  (western),  salmon  (western),  cod, 
haddock,  pollock,  bluefish,  weakfish  (or  sea  trout),  flukes  (or 
flounders),  roe  shad,  and  sea  bass.  The  accompanying  table 
shows  the  maximum  and  minimum  wholesale  prices  for  the 

i  Fowler:  Prices  on  Fish.    Hearings,  Committee  on  Manufactures,  U.  S.  Senate,  62d  Cong. 
Foods  Held  in  Cold  Storage,  pp.  440-468. 

Supplementing  our  Meat  Supply  with  Fish.  203 

month  of  January,  because  that  is  the  month  in  which  fresh- 
caught  fish  are  highest  priced.  It  will  be  observed  that  4 
of  the  10  varieties- — cod,  haddock,  pollock,  and  flukes — 
could  always  be  purchased  for  less  than  10  cents  a  pound 
even  at  the  time  of  greatest  scarcity,  and  generally  they 
could  be  obtained  for  less  than  5  cents. 

A  similar  table  made  for  a  summer  month  such  as  July 
would  show  that  these  four  varieties  rarely  exceed  5  cents 
a  pound  and  are  more  commonly  sold  for  3  cents  or  less  while 
even  the  higher  priced  fish,  such  as  the  bluefish  and  halibut, 
seldom  reach  10  cents  a  pound. 

Maximum  and  ■minimum  wholesale  prices  '  on  fresh-caught  fish  in  January, 
1907-1911,  Fulton  Market,  New  York  City. 






Kinds  of  fish. 











Halibut  (western) 
Salmon  (western) 


SO.  115 

$0. 1375 

$0. 1125 

$0. 145 


















i  Prices  are  given  per  pound  on  all  fish  except  shad,  where  the  prices  are  given  per  fish 
averaging  4i  pounds. 


The  foregoing  statements  apply  to  fresh-caught  fish  only, 
and  it  must  be  remembered  that  winter  fishing  is  of  but  small 
moment.  Most  of  the  fishermen  tie  up  when  winter  comes 
and  do  not  ply  their  trade  until  spring.  Fortunately  for  the 
stability  of  the  markets,  but  even  more  fortunately  for  the 
supply  of  food,  the  practice  of  freezing  the  excess  summer 
catch  and  holding  it  at  temperatures  close  to  zero  Fahrenheit 
until  winter  time  has  become  so  general  that  from  October 
1  to  April  30,  which  mark  the  limits  of  the  storage-stocks 
season,  we  have  a  continuous  course  of  fish  in  excellent  order 
from  the  warehouse  to  the  market  to  be  disposed  of,  generally, 
at  lower  prices  than  the  fresh-caught  article.    For  example, 

204  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

hard-frozen  shad  sell  from  December  to  March  for  40  to  50 
cents  for  a  4^-pound  fish,  while  the  fresh-caught  is  generally 
over  $1  and  may  be  more  than  $2.  It  is  also  fair  to  mention 
the  fact  that  freezer-storage  shad,  put  in  promptly  when  in 
prime  condition  in  the  spring,  are  usually  much  better  fish 
than  those  winter  shad  caught  in  southern  waters  and  poorly 
handled  on  their  journey  to  the  northern  consumer.  Only  the 
consumer's  lack  of  information  prevents  the  relative  prices 
of  fresh-caught  and  freezer-storage  shad  in  winter  time  from 
being  reversed. 

The  prices  of  other  varieties  of  frozen  fish  are  also  much 
less  than  those  of  the  fresh-caught.  Frozen  western  salmon 
runs  from  6J  to  8  cents  a  pound  wholesale,  frozen  bluefish 
from  9  to  15  cents,  frozen  pollock  from  2  to  4  cents,  and  flukes 
from  2  to  5  cents. 


The  prices  already  discussed  are  wholesale  prices.  To 
them  the  retailer  adds  his  margin  of  profit.  That  profit  varies 
greatly  according  to  the  class  of  consumers.  It  is  the  custom 
for  a  host  of  peddlers  in  New  York  City  to  take  zinc-lined 
baskets  to  the  Fulton  Market,  buy  their  supply,  and  carry  it 
to  their  districts,  where  it  is  distributed  at  minimum  cost 
charges.  The  fish  dealer  in  the  residential  districts,  how- 
ever, has  a  multitude  of  charges  to  be  added,  and  he  is  also 
handicapped  by  the  fact  that  his  customers  will  buy  only  a 
few  staple  varieties,  be  they  high  or  low  priced.  When  some 
of  the  unknown  varieties  are  offered  to  the  housewife,  be- 
cause they  are  plentiful  and  oftentimes  cheap,  she  declines 
to  buy,  first,  because  the  low  price  indicates  to  her  absence  of 
quality,  and,  second,  because  she  does  not  know  the  variety 
nor  its  palatability. 

The  prevailing  ignorance  concerning  frozen  fish  is  even 
greater  than  that  concerning  fresh  fish.  There  is  probably 
not  one  in  ten  thousand  American  housewives  who  would 
not  refuse  hard-frozen  salmon  at  15  cents  a  pound  in  favor 
of  fresh-caught  cod  at  18  cents  a  pound.  Yet  most  of  them 
would  doubtless  consider  salmon  more  or  less  of  a  delicacy. 

Another  difficulty  in  fish  distribution  is  the  relatively  large 
sale  on  Fridays.  The  fishermen  hold  fish  for  the  higher  price 
of  Friday's  market,  thereby  losing  the  high  quality  so  neces- 
sary if  consumption  is  to  be  increased.     The  retailer  does  not 

Supplementing,  our  Meat  Supply  with  Fish.  205 

buy  daily  supplies  for  a  continuous  trade,  as  he  does  with 
meat,  but  lays  in  stock  for  Fridays  only.  Consequently,  the 
housewife  who  would  substitute  fish  for  meat  on  other  days, 
finds  but  scant  choice  unless  she  goes  to  the  wholesale  market. 
The  foreign-born  population  in  the  congested  areas  of  our 
large  cities  are  not  prejudiced  in  favor  of  certain  varieties; 
provided  the  price  is  within  their  means  the  name  of  the  fish 
is  a  secondary  matter.  And  if  the  fish  is  palatable  the  fact 
that  it  is  hard  frozen  does  not  weigh  against  a  low  price. 
Consequently,  we  find  hard-frozen  whiting  and  other  plentiful 
fish  selling  for  a  few  cents  a  pound  in  inland  towns  as  well  as 
on  the  coast,  when  the  shops  in  the  residence  districts  are 
charging  double  the  price  for  the  same  article  thawed  to 
simulate  fresh-caught  fish  and  sold  as  fresh,  a  condition  di- 
rectly traceable  to  the  ignorance  of  the  consumer. 


The  person  who  has  enjoyed  the  appetizing  and  satis- 
fying fish  served  so  universally  in  Europe,  or  even  in  New 
Orleans,  finds  a  woeful  lack  of  ability  on  the  part  of  the 
American  cook  to  utilize  to  the  best  advantage  even  the 
high-class  fish,  and  a  hopeless  incompetence  when  the  less 
desirable  varieties  are  used.  The  many  attractive  sauces 
that  add  flavor  and  piquancy  are  unknown.  The  many  ac- 
cessory dishes,  such  as  salads,  croquettes,  pat6s,  etc.,  that 
may  be  made  from  fish  are  never  considered.  A  very  great 
gain  would  accrue  to  this  Nation  if  some  agency  would  follow 
the  example  of  Germany  and  institute  classes  in  the  art  of 
cooking  fish. 

Fish  is  now  the  poor  man's  food  in  the  United  States. 
To  it,  more  than  to  any  other  nitrogen-rich  product,  must  we 
look  for  a  food  supply  to  supplement  the  meat  which  we  can 
not  hope  to  have  in  the  future  as  in  the  past,  either  in  price 
or  in  quantity.  All  food  taken  from  the  sea  is  a  net  gain  to 
the  land.  This  food  in  no  way  impoverishes  the  soil,  and  in 
fact  adds  to  the  fertilizing  elements  of  the  country.  On  the 
other  hand,  food  raised  on  the  land  necessarily  takes  elements 
from  the  soil,  and  this  tends  to  impoverish  the  fertility  of  our 
farms  unless  the  elements  withdrawn  are  artificially  re- 
stored. This  is  true  of  every  animal  raised  for  meat  purposes, 
although,  of  course,  the  depletion  of  the  soil  on  which  meat 
animals  are  fed  is  not  so  direct  as  when  corn  or  some  other 

206  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

product  is  raised  and  shipped  away  to  be  consumed  in  some 
distant  section.  There  is,  moreover,  a  limit  as  to  the  amount 
that  can  be  produced  on  the  land.  The  fish  in  the  seas,  on 
the  other  hand,  feed  and  breed  unaided  and  practically  in 
unlimited  numbers.  Like  many  another  of  our  resources, 
we  have  not  yet  begun  to  fathom  the  value  of  the  fish  in  our 
waters.  Only  time  and  necessity  will  teach  what  they  mean 
to  our  Nation. 


By  K.  O.  E.  Davis, 
Scientist  in  Laboratory  Investigations,  Bureau  of  Soils. 

IF  you  have  ever  been  in  a  forest  during  a  storm  when  the 
rain  was  coming  down  in  torrents,  you  have  probably 
noticed  that  the  leaves  and  litter  forming  a  layer  on  the 
surface  of  the  soil  act  as  a  big  sponge  to  soak  up  the  water, 
and  not  until  great  quantities  have  fallen  do  streamlets  be- 
gin to  appear  from  under  this  layer  of  humus.  You  have 
noticed  also  that  the  water  in  these  streamlets,  or  even  in  a 
stream  having  its  origin  in  a  forest,  is  generally  perfectly 
clear.  Perhaps,  on  the  other  hand,  it  has  been  your  fortune 
to  observe  the  work  of  such  a  torrent  in  an  open  field  with  a 
rolling  surface.  Here  the  result  is  quite  different.  With 
nothing  to  break  their  fall,  the  drops  of  water  strike  the  bare 
soil  in  quick  succession.  The  effect  is  that  of  thousands  of 
little  hammers  beating  upon  the  soil;  its  surface  is  com- 
pacted, the  grains  are  forced  closer  together,  preventing  the 
absorption  of  water,  and  the  finer  material  is  so  agitated 
that  it  remains  suspended  in  the  water  collected  on  the  sur- 
face. Almost  immediately  streamlets  form,  and,  unless 
something  impedes  their  progress,  join  together  shortly  to 
form  a  muddy  torrent.  You  may  have  observed  these 
things  and  understood  perfectly  well  the  reason  for  the  dif- 
ference in  results  in  the  two  cases.  But  did  it  ever  occur  to 
you  that  this  difference  is  costing  the  United  States  millions 
of  dollars  yearly;  that  the  amount  of  good  soil  material 
passing  yearly  to  the  sea  by  just  such  processes  exceeds  by 
more  than  two  times  the  total  amount  of  material  removed 
in  digging  the  Panama  Canal?  If  such  are  the  facts,  we 
should  study  more  closely  the  actual  waste  from  water  attri- 
tion and  the  means  applicable  for  its  prevention. 


In  the  natural  state,  that  is,  the  state  in  which  the  soil  is 
covered  with  native  vegetation,  the  soil  is  maintained  in  an 


208  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

open,  or  porous,  condition.  Water  from  rain  or  melting  snow- 
is  largely  absorbed  by  the  soil,  passes  down  to  deeper  layers, 
and  by  seepage  eventually  comes  to  streams  in  the  lowlands. 
But  if  the  water  is  supplied  to  the  soil  more  rapidly  than  the. 
soil  is  able  to  absorb  it,  the  collection  on  the  surface  begins 
to  flow  to  lower  levels-  With  leaves,  litter,  grass,  or  other 
vegetal  coverings,  the  movement  is  retarded  by  the  ob- 
struction offered,  as  well  as  retained  through  capillary  attrac- 
tion on  and  between  the  surfaces  of  the  material.  In  this 
way  the  velocity  of  the  water  over  a  vegetal-covered  surface 
seldom  attains  such  proportions  that  it  is  able  to  carry  any 
great  burden  of  suspended  matter. 

Hillside  erosion  is  not  a  simple  process,  for  in  it  are  in- 
volved the  relation  of  the  velocity  of  moving  water  to  the 
slope  of  the  soil,  the  amount  of  organic  matter  incorporated 
in  the  soil,  the  vegetal  covering,  the  mechanical  composition 
of  the  soil,  and  the  rate  at  which  water  is  supplied  to  the  sur- 
face. In  addition  to  the  surface  conditions  of  the  soil,  the 
character  of  the  subsoil  has  a  profound  effect  upon  the  tend- 
ency to  erode.  Thus  it  comes  about  that  two  fields  of  the 
same  slope  may  show  a  marked  difference  in  the  rate  of 
erosion.  The  fact  that  a  soil  is  or  is  not  covered  with  forest 
or  grass,  or  contains  much  organic  matter,  or  is  clayey  or 
sandy,  influences  the  rate  at  which  it  absorbs  water  and  the 
amount  of  erosion  caused  by  the  surface  run-off  of  the  water. 


In  forests  the  movement  of  water  is  slow,  it  does  not  collect 
into  streams,  and  as  a  general  thing  erosion  is  almost  negli- 
gible. These  conditions  are  well  illustrated  in  the  southern 
portions  of  the  Appalachian  Mountains.  Under  the  natural 
conditions  of  forest  cover  in  those  regions  the  rate  of  erosion 
is  slow  and  there  is  gradually  established  a  state  of  equilib- 
rium in  which  the  slope  assumed  becomes  almost  constant 
so  long  as  the  forest  cover  and  the  rainfall  remain  the  same. 
A  balance  once  established  between  the  slope  and  the  rainfall, 
the  surface  remains  nearly  the  same  for  hundreds  of  years. 
Oidy  occasional  cloud-bursts  or  extraordinary  rains  produce 
a  deepening  of  the  valleys.  The  streams  supplied  by  such 
slopes  show  marked  characteristics.  Only  occasionally  do 
they  carry  enough  sediment  to  appear  turbid,  and  even  then 

Economic  Waste  from  Soil  Erosion.  209 

much  of  the  suspended  matter  is  organic  in  origin.  The 
streams  rise  more  slowly  after  storms,  remain  in  flood  for  a 
longer  period  of  time,  and  fall  again  more  slowly  than  similar 
streams  in  cleared  areas.  Such  streams  have  been  described 
by  the  Geological  Survey  in  the  Appalachian  Mountains  in 
western  North  Carolina  and  eastern  Tennessee.  Cane  River 
from  Mount  Mitchell  and  streams  in  the  Toxaway  section 
never  become  muddy,  no  matter  how  swollen  from  continued 
rains.  Such  streams  maintain  deep  channels  and  have  their 
beds  over  pebbles  or  bowlders.  They  seldom  change  their 
courses  and  are  in  equilibrium  with  the  region,  an  equilibrium 
which  is  disturbed  only  on  clearing  the  land,  when  the  relation 
of  surface  slope  to  stream  gradient  is  changed. 

It  is  not  uncommon  in  passing  through  the  forests  to  find 
gullies  started  by  the  dragging  or  "snagging"  of  logs  down 
the  hills.  Water  accumulating  in  these  smoother,  bare 
places  soon  gathers  momentum  and  sweeps  soil  and  rocks 
down  the  slope  with  it.  Often,  however,  erosion  in  a  forest 
starts  in  the  lowland  or  on  the  hillside  adjoining  the  lowland. 
A  region  visited  recently  by  the  writer  had  a  typical  gully 
of  such  an  origin.  By  undercutting  and  caving  the  gully 
has  gradually  eaten  back  into  the  forest  until  now  it  is  more 
than  2  miles  long  and  at  its  head  nearly  60  feet  in  depth. 
It  is  not  uncommon  for  it  to  advance  5  or  10  feet  during  an 
exceptionally  heavy  rainfall,  carrying  down  the  largest  trees 
into  its  depth.     (PI.  XXIII.) 

The  feeling  one  has  on  gazing  up  this  yawning  gulch  is 
that  only  extraordinary  means  can  stop  its  progress.  And, 
indeed,  this  is  true,  for  it  has  forced  its  way  across  roadways, 
through  field  and  forest,  right  up  to  the  front  door  of  a 
dwelling.  This,  too,  in  a  short  time  will  be  offered  as  a  sac- 
rifice to  the  ever-increasing  appetite  of  this  monster.  While 
one  of  such,  gullies  causes  a  feeling  of  wonder  and  disgust 
at  the  carelessness  which  permits  a  small  wash,  easily  stop- 
ped in  the  beginning,  to  grow  until  it  almost  defies  the  inge- 
nuity of  man  to  check  its  progress,  we  can  not  fail  to  realize 
the  enormous  economic  waste  produced  when  in  a  ride  of  5 
or  6  miles  eight  or  ten  of  those  immense  gulches  are  observed. 
Although  really  important  in  character,  the  peculiar  soil  con- 
ditions favorable  to  the  formation  of  such  gulches  in  the 
forest  are  rather  exceptional.     (PL  XXIV,  fig.  1.) 

27306°— YBK  1913 14 

210  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 


The  greatest  losses  occur  on  cleared  lands.  In  passing 
eroded  sections  one  will  notice  the  differences  caused  by  the 
character  of  the  soil  and  will  naturally  begin  to  classify  the 
lands  according  to  the  character  of  erosion.  In  some  re- 
gions it  is  possible  to  cultivate  the  soil  on  very  steep  hill- 
sides without  any  washing.  This  security  is  often  due  to 
the  mechanical  composition  of  the  soil.  The  soil  is  more  or 
less  of  a  permanently  loose  and  porous  nature  and  the  water 
falling  on  it  is  practically  all  absorbed. 

Other  lands  are  subject  to  what  is  known  as  surface  wash 
or  sheet  erosion,  in  which  there  is  removed  from  every  por- 
tion of  the  surface  of  the  entire  area  an  almost  equal  amount 
of  soil  material.  This  action  is  characteristic  of  close,  heavy 
soils.  Each  heavy  rain  removes,  as  it  were,  a  layer  or  sheet 
of  soil  material.  Eventually  this  results  in  the  appearance 
over  the  surface  of  the  hillside  of  incipient  gullies  parallel  to 
each  other,  often  known  as  erosion  of  the  parallel  gully  or 
shoe-string  type.  Gullies  thus  formed  have  sloping  sides 
and  more  or  less  rounded  edges.  While  the  losses  from  this 
type  of  erosion  are  great,  the  result  is  hardly  so  disastrous, 
the  devastation  so  rapid,  or  the  possibility  of  reclamation  so 
remote  as  in  the  case  of  the  caving  gully.     (PI.  XXIV,  fig.  2.) 

The  caving  gully  as  described  is  the  most  destructive  and 
the  hardest  to  check.  Its  sides  are  almost  perpendicular 
or  slightly  concave.  The  top  layer  of  soil  is  generally  of  a 
heavy  type  which  holds  well,  but,  once  a  gully  is  started 
and  this  top  layer  is  broken  through,  the  underlying  softer, 
micaceous  or  sandy  layer  is  removed  very  rapidly,  and  cav- 
ing results.     (PI.  XXV,  fig.  1.) 

The  rarest  type  of  erosion  is  probably  the  landslide.  Land- 
slides occur  generally  where  a  thin  layer  of  soil  rests  upon  a 
glazy  surface  of  rock. 


The  relation  of  erosion  to  lumbering  is  twofold.  Much  of 
the  erosion  in  forests  is  started  by  the  careless  handling  of 
cut  timber,  but  a  second  and  more  serious  result  is  that 
much  of  the  land  is  destroyed  even  for  future  forest.  Often 
the  lumberman  has  cut  away  all  timber,  using  what  he  could 

Economic  Waste  from  Soil  Erosion.  211 

and  destroying  what  could  not  be  used.  On  a  recent  visit 
by  the  writer  to  a  sawmill  situated  in  a  section  very  subject 
to  erosion,  the  owner  was  found  to  be  entirely  indifferent  to 
any  effects  of  his  lumbering  operations  other  than  the  amount 
of  lumber  that  could  be  produced.  In  a  near-by  field,  where 
the  entire  forest  growth  had  been  removed,  great  gullies  had 
appeared  and  had  ruined  the  field  for  agricultural  purposes. 
(PI.  XXVI,  fig.  1.)  One  of  the  gullies  was  followed  for  over 
a  half  mile  to  a  bottom  along  a  creek  bed.  This  originally 
had  been  a  fertile  field,  but  now  was  covered  in  most  places 
with  sand  from  1  to  3  feet  thick.  The  state  of  this  field  may 
be  judged  from  an  accompanying  photograph.  (PI.  XXV, 
fig.  2.)  When  the  owner  was  asked  regarding  his  treatment 
of  the  land,  he  remarked  that  all  he  expected  to  get  from  it 
was  the  lumber.  When  asked  if  he  expected  to  sell  the  land, 
he  replied  he  did  not  suppose  he  could ;  "  didn't  think  it  worth 
anything  as  farm  land,  it  washed  so  bad."  And  yet  by  the 
ruthless  cutting  of  timber  he  was  destroying  its  value  either 
as  forest  land  or  for  reforestation. 


The  lumberman,  howevei,  is  not  the  only  person  who  is 
contributing  to  the  devastation  of  land  by  soil  erosion.  The 
miner,  too,  though  to  a  less  extent,  contributes  something  to 
this  economic  waste.  In  some  sections,  through  the  com- 
plete destruction  of  forest  in  order  to  obtain  timber  for  mine 
construction,  erosion  has  resulted.  In  other  sections  placer 
mining  has  indirectly  induced  erosion  on  hillsides  and  filled 
channels  of  streams  with  the  material  washed  from  the  hills. 
Following  certain  mining  industries  a  secondary  effect  pro- 
duced is  the  destruction  of  near-by  vegetation  and  the  re- 
sultant devastation  from  erosion  on  the  bare  hillsides.  Such 
results  follow  notably  the  mining  of  copper.  An  example  is 
found  in  the  Ducktown  area  of  Tennessee. 


The  losses  from  the  filling  of  stream  channels  and  storage 
reservoirs  secured  by  building  enormous  dams  can  be  touched 
on  only.  In  many  places  the  sediment  collects  so  rapidly 
that  the  maintenance  of  storage  reservoirs  has  been  found 
impossible,  and  the  practice  of  keeping  simply  a  channel  open 

212  '  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

has  been  adopted.  This  means  a  great  loss  in  water  power 
and  in  navigation.  In  the  rivers  of  the  Southeastern  and 
Southern  States  this  constitutes  one  of  the  serious  difficulties 
in  the  development  of  power  sites.  Owing  partly  to  the  fact 
that  practically  the  whole  precipitation  both  in  the  valleys 
and  at  the  headwaters  of  these  rivers  is  in  the  form  of  rain, 
and  partly  to  the  soil  conditions,  the  rivers  in  general  carry  a 
large  burden  of  sediment.  Storage  reservoirs  are  impossible 
because  of  rapid  filling,  and  where  dams  are  built  for  the 
development  of  power  the  reservoirs  thus  formed  are  also 
rapidly  filled.  W.  S.  Lee  testified  before  the  Agricultural 
Committee  of  the  House  of  Representatives  in  1908  that  the 
capacity  of  certain  reservoirs  on  the  Catawba  and  Broad 
Rivers  in  South  Carolina  was  so  reduced  that  in  a  few  years 
only  the  flow  of  the  rivers  would  be  available.  At  some  sites 
dredging  has  been  resorted  to,  but  in  general  this  has  been 
found  so  expensive  that  finally  no  effort  has  been  made  to 
dredge  more  than  enough  to  keep  the  stream  channel  open. 

Many  river  bottoms  fill  so  rapidly  that  continual  dredging 
is  required  to  maintain  channels  sufficient  for  navigation. 
The  waters  coming  from  the  hills  bring  with  them  a  burden 
of  silt  and  other  solid  material  in  suspension  which  is  de- 
posited in  the  bed  of  the  stream  as  it  nears  or  reaches  its 
flood  plain.  To  prevent  the  filling  of  the  stream  bed  and 
keep  it  open  to  navigation  dredging  must  be  continually 
resorted  to.  Otherwise  the  formation  of  sand  bars  and  the 
change  in  the  position  of  the  channel  are  a  constant  menace 
to  navigation.  The  Geological  Survey  reports  the  amount 
of  silt  carried  by  the  Hudson  River  as  240,000  tons  a  year; 
by  the  Susquehanna,  240,000  tons;  by  the  Roanoke,  3,000,000 
tons;  by  the  Alabama,  3,039,900  tons;  by  the  Savannah, 
1,000,000  tons;  by  the  Tennessee,  11,000,000  tons;  and  by 
the  Missouri  above  Ruegg,   176,000,000  tons. 


Important  as  all  these  losses  are,  they  are  small  in  com- 
parison with  the  losses  to  agriculture  and  to  the  soil  itself. 
To  appreciate  the  intrinsic  value  of  soil  we  should  consider 
its  nature,  how  it  is  formed.  Ordinarily  we  do  not  think  of 
rock  and  soil  as  the  same,  and  yet  in  composition  they  are 

Yearbook  U.  S.  Dept.  of  Agriculture,  1913. 

Plate  XXIII. 

Fig.  1.— Erosion  in  Pasture  Resulting  from  Destruction  of  Grass 

Cover.  ..  ... 

Fig.  2.— Erosion  in  Orangeburg  Clay  Loam. 

Yearbook  U.  S.  Dept.  of  Agriculture,  1913. 

Plate  XXIV, 

Fig.  1— Erosion  in  Coastal  Plain  Uplands. 

Fig.  2.— Erosion  in  Clarksville  Silt  Loam. 

Yearbook  U.  S.  Dept.  of  Agriculture,  1913. 


Fig.  1.— Erosion  in  Clay  Loam  with  Sandy  Subsoil. 

Fig.  2.— Bottom  Land  Ruined  by  Sand  Brought  Down  from  Near-by 


Yearbook  U.  S.  Dept.  of  Agriculture,  1913. 

Plate  XXVI. 

Fig.  1.— Erosion  in  Sandy  Loam. 

Fig.  2.— Erosion  Following  Abandonment  Retarded  by  Natural  Growth 
of  Pine,  Shrubs,  and  Grasses. 

Economic  Waste  from  Soil  Erosion,  213 

very  similar.  If  we  were  to  take  rock  and  break  it  into 
many  fine  pieces,  some  of  it  to  powder,  we  should  change  the 
character  of  the  material  but  not  its  composition.  This  is 
partly  what  happens  to  form  soil.  In  addition,  the  disinte- 
grated mass  is  acted  upon  chemically  by  air  and  water,  pro- 
ducing the  weathered  product  we  call  soil.  But  that  the 
freezing  and  thawing  or  changes  in  temperature,  the  action 
of  water  and  of  air  should  produce  this  material  from  rocks, 
requires,  as  may  readily  be  imagined,  a  very  long  time.  It  is 
estimated  that  hundreds  of  years  are  required  for  the  forma- 
tion of  an  inch  of  soil.  Considering  the  rate  at  which  soil  is 
formed,  is  it  not  criminal  to  allow  its  abuse  and  destruction  ? 
The  result  of  one  hard  rain  may  remove  the  soil  nature  has 
prepared  through  centuries,  much  of  its  material  being 
carried  out  to  sea.  Whenever  the  soil  has  been  removed 
down  to  the  underlying  rock,  it  can  not  be  replaced  except 
by  artificial  means. 

Under  the  original  process  of  nature  the  soil  was  continu- 
ally wearing  away  on  the  top,  but  more  was  forming,  and  the 
formation  was  somewhat  more  rapid  than  the  removal.  The 
layer  of  soil  on  hillsides  represented  the  difference  between 
the  amount  formed  and  that  removed.  After  clearing,  the 
rate  of  removal  is  greatly  increased,  but  the  rate  of  formation 
remains  the  same.  Special  m,eans  should  therefore  be 
adopted  to  prevent  this  removal  of  excess  material. 

Perhaps  the  power  of  water  to  remove  this  mantle  of  soil 
may  be  more  clearly  shown  by  a  consideration  of  the  great 
depth  to  which  some  rivers  have  cut.  The  Columbia  River 
and  the  Colorado  River  have  cut  gorges  2,000  and  5,000  feet, 
respectively.  Where  the  material  is  loose  and  incoherent 
the  results  produced  by  running  water  are  much  greater. 
It  has  been  estimated  that  the  Mississippi  River,  which 
drains  over  one-third  of  the  area  of  the  United  States, 
delivers  to  the  Gulf  of  Mexico  from  370  to  680  million  tons 
of  suspended  material  yearly.  Accepting  the  lower  figure 
and  assuming  a  lower  rate  for  the  rest  of  the  United  States 
(500  million  tons),  the  total  amount  of  soil  material  carried 
to  the  seas  amounts  to  870  million  tons  a  year.  Assuming 
that  one-half  of  this  is  unnecessary  waste,  there  is  an  annual 
loss  of  over  400  million  tons  of  soil  material.     This  means  a 

214  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

preventable  waste  yearly  of  more  material  than  was  removed 
in  digging  the  Panama  Canal.  But  this  is  only  part  of  the 
story,  for  only  a  small  portion  of  the  soil  brought  down  from 
the  hills  is  carried  to  the  mouths  of  the  rivers.  What  pro- 
portion it  is  impossible  to  estimate. 

Assuming  an  average  removal  of  3  inches  from  the  top,  or 
500  tons  per  acre,  this  lost  material  would  mean  800,000 
acres  ruined,  which  at  a  very  low  average  loss  of  $5  per  acre 
in  value  to  the  land  would  mean  $4,000,000  per  annum  in 
depreciation  alone. 

An  estimate  of  the  solid  material  carried  by  the  Potomac 
River  places  the  amount  removed  at  400  pounds  per  annum 
for  every  acre  drained  by  it.  The  James  River,  with  a  flood 
of  10-foot  crest,  is  reported  to  remove  275,000  to  300,000 
cubic  feet  of  solid  material  in  24  hours  and  yearly  removes 
three  to  four  million  cubic  yards  from  the  hills  above  Rich- 
mond in  Virginia.  The  amount  removed  by  erosion  from  the 
Piedmont  region  of  North  Carolina  is  said  to  amount  to  $3 
per  acre  yearly  in  decrease  in  crop  value  alone,  making  a  total 
loss  in  this  region  of  over  $2,000,000.  The  value  of  the  soil 
itself,  washed  away,  is  small  in  comparison  with  the  loss  in 
fertility,  or  from  forced  abandonment  and  idleness  of  land 
due  to  erosion.  Land  that  should  be  producing  is  left  idle, 
or  is  only  slightly  cared  for,  so  that  the  returns  each  year 
become  smaller,  and  abandonment  follows.  It  is  next  to 
impossible  to  estimate  the  millions  of  dollars  lost  in  this  way 
each  year.  Some  idea  of  the  extent  of  this  loss  may  be 
gained  from  the  fact  that  the  National  Conservation  Con- 
ference in  1909  reported  nearly  eleven  million  acres  of 
abandoned  farm  land  in  the  United  States,  most  of  it 
damaged  and  over  one-third  or  about  four  million  acres 
actually  destroyed  by  erosion.  At  an  average  original  value 
of  $10,  the  loss  amounts  to  $40,000,000.  The  loss  from  non- 
production  is  probably  as  much  yearly.  Added  to  this  the 
losses  to  navigation  and  water  power  and  in  the  expense  of 
keeping  open  channels  will  almost  double  the  amount,  so 
that  annually  the  United  States  is  suffering  the  loss  of 
seventy-five  to  one  hundred  million  dollars  through  the 
agency  of  erosion. 

Economic  Waste  from  Soil  Erosion.  215 


The  problems  existing  in  the  relation  of  erosion  to  the 
various  industries  are  all  subsidiary  to  the  problem  of  the 
utilization  of  rainfall.  This  is  the  key  problem  of  the  whole 
series,  of  which  navigation  is  the  last.  As  has  been  stated, 
the  natural  process  involves  the  absorption  of  most  of  the 
water  where  it  falls.  The  problem  is  then  put  up  to  each 
individual  owner  of  land.  The  water  falling  on  an  acre  may 
be  turned  to  good,  lost  as  it  runs  away,  or  doubly  lost  if  it 
carries  a  burden  of  soil  particles  with  it. 

By  having  the  soil  in  such  condition  that  absorption  is 
easy,  a  portion  of  the  water  passes  down  to  the  seepage 
water,  carrying  with  it  harmful  soluble  materials ;  a  portion 
returns  to  the  surface  to  feed  the  plants,  and  a  very  small 
portion  perhaps  runs  off  the  surface.  There  need  be  no 
uneasiness  that  too  much  water  will  be  absorbed  by  soils 
where  erosion  is  likely  to  take  place,  for  in  this  country  the 
crops  can  utilize  all  the  rain  during  the  growing  season,  and 
most  of  that  falling  at  other  seasons. 

If  the  surface  run-off  is  thus  reduced  to  a  minimum  the 
water  absorbed  increases  the  fertility  of  the  field  and  passes 
into  the  seepage  water  which  emerges  into  the  streams  free 
from  all  sediment  and  suspended  matter;  river  channels  are 
not  filled  with  sand,  flood  plains  are  not  covered  with  gravel, 
reservoirs  are  not  made  useless,  and  the  mouths  of  rivers  are 
not  filled  up  with  fine  silt.  An  observation  of  the  extent 
to  which  absorption  will  take  place  was  made  following  a 
rainfall  of  over  an  inch.  On  an  uncultivated  soil  the  water 
had  penetrated  less  than  2  inches,  while  on  a  cultivated  soil 
well  supplied  with  organic  matter  the  water  had  penetrated 
to  6  inches.  On  the  soil  not  in  condition  to  absorb  the  rain- 
fall more  than  three-fourths  had  been  lost  in  the  surface 


It  is  true  that  nature  generally  adapts  itself  to  changing 
conditions,  and  for  this  reason  a  field  abandoned  because  of 
erosion  soon  shows  these  efforts  of  nature  to  prevent  the 
devastation.  Volunteer  trees  spring  up  in  the  ditches,  and 
briers  cover  the  sides  of  the  gullies.  These,  by  the  spread- 
ing of  their  roots  and  the  addition  of  small  amounts  of  organic 

216  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

material  to  the  soil,  furnish  a  lodging  place  for  detritus  and 
slowly  check  the  devastating  work  of  the  running  water. 
(PL  XXVI,  fig.  2.)  The  process  is  very  slow,  however,  and, 
while  it  may  be  possible  to  have  a  field  reclaimed  in  this 
way,  it  is  the  slowest  method,  and  one  that  permits  of  great 
waste  during  its  accomplishment.     (PL  XXVI,  fig.  2.) 

This  natural  growth  often  furnishes  a  clue  to  the  best 
method  of  reclaiming  through  reforestation.  From  the 
character  of  the  natural  growth,  the  kind  of  trees  and  shrubs 
best  suited  to  the  purpose  can  be  determined.  In  one  of 
the  States  having  a  section  so  subject  to  erosion  that  the 
State  officials  have  become  aroused  to  the  danger  of  losing 
much  of  the  land,  the  problem  of  reclamation  has  been  seri- 
ously attacked.  With  a  forester,  especially  selected  for  the 
purpose,  working  with  the  State  geologist  and  the  soil 
experts,  it  is  hoped  that  lands  that  offer  no  hope  of  agricul- 
tural profit  may  soon  be  reforested,  that  proper  methods  of 
preserving  the  present  forests  may  be  introduced  and  the 
agricultural  lands  protected. 

The  natural  reclamation  of  flood  plains  covered  with  sand 
can  be  accomplished  slowly,  but  only  after  the  cause,  the 
erosion  on  the  hillside,  has  been  stopped  or  largely  checked. 
If  the  velocity  of  the  water  from  the  hillsides  be  reduced  the 
sand  will  be  deposited  before  reaching  the  bottom  lands  and 
only  the  finer  material  will  reach  the  plains.  In  times  of 
flood  the  stream  overflowing  the  plain  will  deposit  a  layer  of 
silty  material,  and  eventually  a  soil  may  be  built  up  that  is 
capable  of  use  agriculturally.  However,  of  all  lands  dam- 
aged by  erosion,  perhaps  it  is  hardest  to  produce  productive 
soil  on  lands  that  have  been  covered  to  some  depth  with 



Many  farmers  when  approached  on  the  subject  of  erosion 
show  interest  and  agree  that  the  loss  is  great.  They  will  say, 
"Why,  yes,  some  of  my  fields  are  badly  washed,  but  it  doesn't 
pay  to  try  to  do  anything  with  them."  They  expect  recla- 
mation, if  it  is  ever  accomplished,  to  be  undertaken  by  the 
Government,  and  it  is  only  with  difficulty  that  they  can  be 
induced  to  make  an  attempt  at  stopping  the  ravages  of 
erosion.     It  has  been  cheaper  in  the  past  to  move  to  newer 

Yearbook  U.  S.  Dept.  of  Agriculture,  1913. 

Plate  XXVII. 

Fig.  1.— Terraced  Slope. 

Fig.  2.— A  Well-Terraced  Field. 

Yearbook  U.  S.  Dept.  of  Agriculture,  1913. 

Plate  XXVIII. 

Fig.  1.— Poorly  Kept  and  Broken  Terraces. 

Fig.  2.— A  System  of  Mangum  Terraces. 

Economic  Waste  from  Soil  Erosion.  217 

lands.     But  with  the  increased  value  of  lands  the  necessity 
of  utilizing  that  already  in  their  possession  will  be  impelling. 

Any  reclamation  will  employ  the  same  principles  that 
must  be  used  for  prevention. 

Take  as  an  example  of  the  profit  in  reclaiming  eroded  land 
a  place  west  of  Johnson  City,  Tenn.  Two  years  ago  it  was 
badly  eroded,  with  several  gullies  2  to  12  feet  deep.  The 
present  owner  paid  $53  an  acre  for  38  acres,  when  adjoining 
land  was  selling  at  $100  to  $150  an  acre.  The  purchaser  filled 
in  the  gullies  with  debris  and  by  back-furrowing  until  no  sign 
of  them  was  left  on  the  fields.  He  then  incorporated  much 
organic  matter  into  the  soil  by  putting  on  200  loads  of  stable 
manure.  Then  by  plowing  the  entire  field  to  a  depth  of  10 
inches  it  was  put  into  such  condition  that  practically  all  rain 
falling  on  it  was  absorbed.  A  crop  rotation  of  rye,  peas,  and 
corn  or  wheat  was  adopted.  Before  the  end  of  the  second 
season  $100  an  acre  had  been  offered  and  refused.  The  total 
cost  of  reclaiming  the  38  acres — an  accurate  account  was 
kept — was  $376,  or  approximately  $10  an  acre;  but  the  value 
of  the  land  had  increased  $47 .  This  particular  soil  is  of  heavy 
cohesive  type  and  the  erosion  is  not  especially  difficult  to 
control,  the  incorporation  of  organic  matter  and  deep  plowing 
generally  being  sufficient  to  prevent  gullying  of  its  surface. 
This  method  is  the  most  obvious  one  for  preventing  erosion. 

The  forest  has  been  cut  from  some  soils  that  should  never 
have  been  deprived  of  their  original  growth.  As  a  result,  in 
some  sections  the  devastation  has  been  almost  unbelievable, 
and  the  only  possible  way  of  reclaiming  the  soil  or  preventing 
much  greater  depredation  is  by  reforesting.  The  type  and 
kinds  of  trees  best  suited  to  this  work  in  the  various  localities 
must  be  determined  by  the  forester.  This  in  many  cases 
will  be  the  best  way  of  reclaiming  eroded  lands,  even  though 
it  be  possible  to  utilize  them  for  agricultural  purposes. 


Of  course  it  is  much  better  to  prevent  the  destruction  of 
soil  by  erosion  than  it  is  to  take  eroded  and  worn-out  land 
and  attempt  to  reclaim  it.  The  methods  of  prevention  must 
be  practiced  in  reclamation  also,  in  order  to  prevent  months' 
work  from  being  lost  through  the  agency  of  one  hard  rain. 

218  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

In  general  there  are  two  classes  of  methods  employed. 
Those  of  the  first  class  increase  the  porosity  of  the  soil, 
enabling  it  to  absorb  a  greater  proportion  of  the  water  falling 
on  it,  while  those  of  the  second  class  decrease  the  velocity  of 
the  surface  run-off.  Increase  in  porosity  is  accomplished  by 
the  incorporation  of  organic  matter  in  the  soil  and  by  break- 
ing the  soil  to  considerable  depth.  A  reservoir  is  thus 
formed  for  the  storage  of  water  during  times  of  storm.  Deep 
plowing  is  being  supplemented  considerably  by  the  use  of 
dynamite  for  breaking  up  the  subsoil  layers.  Deep  plowing 
alone  is  not  so  beneficial  as  when  used  in  conjunction  with 
the  incorporation  of  organic  matter  in  the  soil.  The  organic 
matter  causes  the  particles  of  soil  to  granulate,  thus  leaving 
larger  spaces  between  them.  And  it  increases  not  only  the 
absorptive  capacity  but  also  the  water-holding  power  of  the 

The  second  class  of  methods  is  composed  of  those  that 
place  some  impediment  in  the  path  of  the  surface  run-off. 
All  kinds  of  terraces  belong  to  this  class.  (PI.  XXVII.) 
A  distinct  prejudice  against  terraces  exists  in  some  sections 
where  erosion  is  bad.  Yet  the  beauty  of  a  well-terraced 
field  is  only  slightly  less  than  that  of  a  field  with  check  rows. 
That  there  exist  some  disadvantages  in  the  terrace,  or  hill- 
side ditch  and  terrace,  is  readily  admitted.  The  main  one  is 
connected  with  the  use  of  harvesting  machinery.  However, 
when  asked  why  he  does  not  terrace  his  fields,  the  farmer  has 
most  often  replied,  "It  wastes  too  much  land."  Perhaps  he 
does  not  consider  it  wasted  to  have  each  year  the  best  of 
his  surface  soil  removed  and  deposited  at  the  mouth  of  some 
river,  hundreds  of  miles  away.  Any  comparison  on  this 
basis  is  decidedly  in  favor  of  the  terrace.  It  is  mainly  a 
question  of  whether  we  will  retain  for  use  part  of  the  land 
or  lose  it  all.  If  you  doubt  this,  visit  some  of  the  sections 
where  erosion  is  difficult  to  control.  There  you  will  find 
farms  abandoned  from  one  cause,  namely,  the  terraces  were 
allowed  to  break  down.     (PI.  XXVIII,  fig.  1.) 

There  has  lately  come  into  prominence  a  terrace  designed 
to  eliminate  the  bad  qualities  and  retain  the  good  ones  of  the 
old-style  terrace.  This  is  the  Mangum  terrace,  first  con- 
structed by  Mr.  P.  H.  Mangum,  of  Wake  County,  North 
Carolina.     Its  construction  has  been  described  often,  so  thai. 

Economic  Waste  from  Soil  Erosion.  219 

it  will  be  described  here  only  briefly.  The  Mangum  terrace 
is  a  broad  bank  of  earth  with  gently  sloping  sides  contouring 
a  field  at  a  grade  of  approximately  1£  inches  to  14  feet.  The 
most  ordinary  way  of  constructing  it  is  by  back- furrowing 
along  the  grade  lines,  although  a  road  scraper  or  other  means 
may  be  employed.  The  Mangum  terrace  is  well  adapted  to 
most  types  of  soil  suited  to  agricultural  uses,  especially  where 
the  land  is  moderately  rolling.  The  effect  of  such  a  terrace 
is  to  give  a  gradually  sloping  side,  both  above  and  below  its 
highest  point,  so  that  cultivation  may  be  carried  on  right 
across  the  ridge  in  any  direction.  (PI.  XXVIII,  fig.  2.)  It 
also  permits  of  the  use  of  machinery,  designed  for  extensive 
cultivation,  and  accomplishes  the  saving  of  considerable 
labor.  While  providing  the  same  protection  as  the  old-time 
terrace,  it  eliminates  the  waste  of  land  and  the  breeding 
places  for  insects  afforded  by  the  weeds  or  grass  growing  on 
the  ridges.  For  soils  of  a  clayey  or  loamy  nature  it  furnishes 
the  ideal  terrace. 

Another  method  that  has  merit  but  is  expensive  is  that 
devised  by  Mr.  John  A.  Adams,  of  Johnson  County,  Missouri. 
His  method  is  to  build  across  the  lower  part  of  his  field  a  dam 
of  earth  or  stone,  which  would  stop  the  surface  run-off  and 
hold  it  on  the  field.  But  the  distinctive  thing  about  the 
plan  is  the  way  in  which  storm  waters  are  cared  for.  Passing 
through  the  dam  is  a  sewer  pipe  connected  on  the  upper  side 
with  an  upright  pipe.  The  water  runs  down  and  fills  tb  e  val- 
ley until  it  reaches  the  height  of  the  upright  pipe,  when  it 
flows  down  into  the  next  field.  The  water  left  standing  be- 
low the  mouth  of  the  upright  pipe  is  disposed  of  by  a  tile  drain 
laid  along  the  valley  and  passing  to  the  sewer  pipe.  The 
result  of  the  system  is  that  the  rushing  water  is  checked  in 
the  valley  and  gives  up  its  burden  of  sediment,  the  water  is 
removed  from  the  valley  largely  by  seepage  into  the  tile 
drain,  and  the  ground  remains  in  good  condition  for  working. 

Other  types  of  terraces  are  in  use,  and  many  modifications 
are  often  adopted  to  suit  particular  kinds  of  soils. 

In  some  sections,  and  suited  to  certain  uses,  a  combina- 
tion of  the  two  methods  of  prevention  is  employed.  Strips 
of  grass  maintained  between  strips  of  equal  width  growing 
some  cultivated  crop  afford  a  protection  that  is  adequate 
if  the  soil  does  not  show  too  great  a  tendency  to  wash.  In 
orchard  culture  often  a  sod  mulch  is  maintained  upon  the 

220  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

ground,  one  of  its  purposes  being  to  prevent  the  erosion  of  the 

Methods  of  prevention  have  not  been  widely  employed 
in  this  country.  In  China,  where  lands  have  been  used  for 
agricultural  purposes  for  centuries,  the  terraces  have  been 
developed  with  great  care,  and  the  tilling  of  the  soil  has  been 
pushed  far  up  on  the  steep  hillsides.  Terraces  are  often 
formed  by  the  use  of  retaining  rock  walls  on  their  lower 
sides.  Similar  methods  are  used  in  Europe  to  allow  cultiva- 
tion of  steep  hillsides.  However,  in  this  country  it  will 
hardly  become  necessary  for  some  time  to  resort  to  such 
expensive  methods  to  save  the  lands.  If  taken  in  time 
the  waste  of  the  less  steeply  situated  land  may  be  saved  by 
some  of  the  simple  methods  mentioned. 

Methods  of  preventing  stream  erosion  consist  mainly 
in  maintaining  deep,  clean  stream  beds,  and  if  the  headwaters 
are  properly  taken  care  of  it  should  be  no  great  task  to 
control  the  stream  in  the  plains.  At  times  the  character  of 
the  soil  along  the  banks  is  such  that  there  is  a  continual 
undermining  and  cutting  of  the  banks.  A  protective  wall 
may  be  the  only  remedy,  though  often  willows  or  other 
quick-growing  plants  may  afford  protection  against  erosion. 
In  some  sections  of  Europe,  where  the  headwaters  of  the 
streams  are  looked  after  with  great  care,  the  whole  bed  of 
the  stream  in  its  upper  course  may  be  found  lined  with  brick 
and  built  in  regular  terraces.  The  erosion  of  the  stream  is 
prevented  near  its  source,  and  the  filling  of  the  stream  bed 
near  its  mouth  is  avoided. 

From  this  survey  of  the  economic  aspect  of  erosion  it  is 
readily  seen  that  the  fertility  of  the  fields  in  many  hilly 
sections  is  being  reduced  by  the  bodily  removal  of  the  soil 
material,  resulting  in  an  annual  loss  of  millions  of  dollars 
in  crop  production.  Further  losses  are  entailed  in  manu- 
factures, power  development,  navigation,  and  other  in- 
dustries. The  retention  of  the  water  where  it  falls  would 
also  prevent  many  destructive  floods.  The  only  way  to 
stop  the  enormous  waste  is  for  each  farmer  to  prevent  erosion 
on  his  land.  That  reclamation  even  is  profitable  has  been 
shown.  Public  sentiment  should  be  aroused  against  the 
carelessness  or  indifference  which  permits  eroded  hillsides. 


By  Carlbton  R.  Ball, 
Agronomist,  Office  of  Cereal  Investigations,  Bureau  of  Plant  Industry. 


THE  world  is  being  searched  for  new  plants  for  the  Amer- 
ican farm  and  garden.  Some  of  those  introduced  in  com- 
paratively recent  years  have  become  staple  and  valuable  crops. 
Among  these  are  durum  wheats,  Swedish  Select  and  Kher- 
son Sixty-Day  oats,  and  others.  We  call  them  no  longer  for- 
eigners but  Americans.  Other  introductions  which  now  seem 
strange  and  new  will  become  familiar  in  the  next  decade  or 
two.  Many  others  will  never  become  known  because  they  are 
not  adapted  to  our  environmental  or  economic  conditions. 

The  grain  sorghums  are  rather  stout  and  mostly  tall  plants 
of  the  grass  family,  distantly  related  to  corn.  The  grain  is 
not  found  in  ears,  for  they  have  none,  but  in  heads  which 
they  bear  where  corn  carries  its  tassel.  There  are  several 
groups  of  these  grain  makers,  known  by  different  names. 
Among  them  are  the  durras,  including  feterita,  and  the 
milos,  which  have  mostly  short,  fat  heads  and  large  flat  seeds; 
the  stout,  broad-leaved  kafirs,  which  have  longer  heads,  full 
of  small,  egg-shaped  seeds,  and  the  slender,  dry-stemmed 
kaoliangs  with  mostly  small,  oval  seeds  borne  in  heads  of 
various  shapes. 

While  not  of  wide  adaptation  under  present  conditions,  the 
grain  sorghums  are  so  perfectly  adapted  and  so  evidently 
supreme  in  their  particular  domain  that  they  achieve  an  impor- 
tance in  excess  of  their  statistical  rank  as  farm  crops.  To 
those  who  wonder  why  their  use  has  not  developed  more 
rapidly,  in  view  of  their  proven  value,  it  can  only  be  said 
that  changes  in  crops  or  cropping  methods  must  necessarily 
be  slow.  Progress  must  be  measured  not  by  years  but  by 
decades  if  stability  of  production  is  to  be  assured.  Farmers 
are  confessedly  conservative.  It  is  well.  Were  it  not  so  the 
world  might  face  famine  as  often  as  business  faces  panic. 


222  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 


Wherever  the  white  man's  love  of  adventure  and  discovery 
has  led  him,  he  has  always  found  primitive  peoples  using 
strange  new  plants  for  food.  The  early  explorers  and  colo- 
nists of  America  found  the  Amerinds  cultivating  maize  and 
the  native  Indians  of  the  Titicaca  plateau  in  Peru,  at  eleva- 
tions of  11,000  to  14,000  feet,  making  use  of  quinoa,  a  kind 
of  lamb's-quarter  (Chenopodium  quinoa).  The  traders  and 
adventurers  who  first  touched  India  and  China  gained  their 
principal  impressions  from  the  port  cities  and  recorded  that 
the  people  of  those  countries  lived  chiefly  on  rice,  a  fiction 
that  still  persists.  Later  travelers,  who  reached  the  interior, 
found  wheat,  sorghums,  and  millets  to  be  staple  articles  of 
diet.  The  sorghums  were  used  mainly  by  the  poorer  classes 
or  in  times  of  scarcity. 

In  India  the  two  large  southern  presidencies,  Bombay 
and  Madras,  nearly  1,500  miles  long  and  half  as  wide,  are 
the  best-known  areas  of  sorghum  production.  The  crop  is 
important,  however,  in  the  States  lying  farther  to  the  north. 
It  was  estimated  a  few  years  ago  that  the  area  annually 
devoted  to  sorghums  in  India  was  25,000,000  acres.  More 
than  300  varieties  have  been  imported  from  there  and  grown 
by  the  United  States  Department  of  Agriculture.  A  great 
diversity  of  forms  was  found,  the  plants  varying  from  dwarf 
and  stocky  to  tall  and  slender  (PL  XXIX,  fig.  1 )  and  the  heads 
having  as  wide  a  range  of  variation.  Some  curious  varieties 
were  found,  having  two  seeds  in  each  spikelet  instead  of  the 
customary  one,  a  phenomenon  occurring  regularly  in  occa- 
sional spikelets  of  cultivated  sorgos  in  this  country.  Other 
forms  had  long  and  pointed  glumes,  like  the  hulls  of  oats, 
projecting  far  beyond  the  apex  of  the  seed. 

In  China,  Manchuria,  and  Chosen  (Korea)  a  distinct  group  of 
grain-producing  sorghums,  the  kaoliangs,  have  been  developed 
(PI.  XXIX,  fig.  2).  They  range  from  Yunnan,  on  the 
mountainous  frontier  of  Tibet,  to  far  Manchuria,  a  stretch  of 
more  than  2,000  miles.  Dwarfs  less  than  a  yard  in  height 
and  slender  sapling  stems  20  feet  or  more  tall  are  found 
(PI.  XXIX,  fig.  3).  Between  these  are  all  the  intermediates 
one  might  well  expect.  In  head  forms  and  seed  colors  the 
gamut  is  equally  complete. 

It  is  among  the  frugal  and  industrious  Chinese  and  Man- 
chus  that  the  grain  sorghums  are  put  to  the  most  varied 

The  Grain  Sorghums.  223 

uses.  Besides  the  meal  and  porridge  made  from  the  seeds 
and  the  fodder  derived  from  the  whole  plant,  the  thrashed 
heads  are  used  for  fuel  and  certain  sorts  for  brooms;  the 
leaves  are  used  for  fodder  and  for  mats;  the  stalks  for 
baskets,  light  bridges,  fences,  fuel,  hedges,  house-building 
material,  kite  frames,  laths,  matting,  playthings,  posts, 
thatching,  trellises,  windbreaks,  withes,  and  window  shades, 
while  even  the  roots  and  attached  stubble  are  carefully  dug 
and  saved  for  fuel.  The  seed  is  also  commonly  used  to  make 
a  fermented  drink,  or  beer. 

When  wo  survey  Africa,  however,  the  real  abundance  and 
diversity  of  the  cultivated  members  of  the  sorghum  family 
are  seen.  They  are  found  in  every  nook  and  corner  of  the 
great  peninsular  continent.  Five  thousand  miles  from 
northern  sea  to  southern  cape  she  lies,  and  4,000  from  ocean 
to  ocean.  From  Morocco  to  Egypt,  from  Egypt  to  the  Cape; 
again  from  the  Cape  northward  to  the  old  Slave  Coast;  and 
throughout  the  length  of  the  Sudan,  from  Senegal  on  the 
west  to  Abyssinia  on  the  east,  this  crop  occurs.  On  the  dry 
plains,  in  the  oases  of  the  Sahara,  on  high  plateaus,  and  in 
mountain  valleys,  in  tropical  jungles  and  temperate  veldts, 
throughout  the  length  and  breadth  of  Africa,  sorghum  is  the 
one  ever-present  crop,  though  the  forms  are  as  diverse  as  the 
conditions  under  which  they  grow.  The  plants  vary  in 
height  from  3  or  4  to  probably  20  feet  (PI.  XXX,  fig.  1). 
The  heads  vary  in  shape  and  structure  from  ovate  and  densely 
compact  to  loosely  cylindrical,  to  fan-shaped  forms,  and  to 
long  and  flowing  feathery  plumes.  In  length  they  vary 
from  5  to  25  inches.  The  seeds  vary  in  color  from  white  to 
pink,  red,  brown,  and  yellow,  with  an  occasional  tinge  of 
blue.  Everywhere  they  are  used  by  the  native  tribes  for 
human  food,  for  the  making  of  fermented  drinks,  and  as 
fodder  for  live  stock  where  such  is  owned. 



In  1874,  two  durras,  Brown  and  White,  arrived  at  the 
port  of  San  Francisco,  though  whether  by  first  cabin,  second 
cabin,  or  steerage  is  not  recorded.  Their  passage  had  been 
booked  from  Egypt,  but  it  is  now  known  that  their  African 
home  was  in  the  old  Barbary  States  of  Algeria  and  Tunis 
and  in  the  oases  of  the  Sahara.     Out  to  the  ranches  in  the 

224  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

two  great  inland  valleys  of  the  State  they  went  and  proved 
their  entire  ability  to  withstand  the  far-famed  California 
climate.  During  the  next  few  years  they  were  allowed  to 
occupy  the  wide  space  between  rows  of  young  grapes, 
almonds,  and  plums  until  it  was  needed  by  the  growing 
fruits.  In  return,  they  fed  the  rancher's  work  stock,  cows, 
and  chickens. 


While  this  little  foreign  colony  was  being  planted  in  Cali- 
fornia, something  was  doing  on  the  Atlantic  coast,  2,500 
miles  away.  In  the  year  1876  a  great  international  exposi- 
tion was  held  in  Philadelphia  to  commemorate  the  hun- 
dredth anniversary  of  American  independence.  Among  the 
many  foreign  exhibits  at  the  Centennial  Exposition  was  that 
of  the  Orange  River  Colony,  later  known  as  the  Orange  Free 
State,  and  now  a  part  of  the  great  Union  of  South  Africa. 
In  this  exhibit  were  two  samples  of  small,  hard,  egg-shaped 
seeds,  one  white,  the  other  a  red-brown  (see  PL  XXXI, 
fig.  1,  Cand  D),  two  varieties  of  the  so-called  " Kafir  corn" 
(PI.  XXX,  fig.  2)  of  South  Africa. 

How  slender  is  the  chain  which  connects  these  two  samples 
of  seed  lying  in  a  Philadelphia  exhibit  with  the  thriving 
industry  of  the  dry-land  West!  Probably  hundreds  and 
thousands  of  visitors  looked  at  the  strange  new  seeds  and 
thought  no  more  of  them,  or  noted  only  that  they  were 
sorghums  from  South  Africa,  whence  had  come,  some  20 
years  before,  the  sorgos  or  sweet  sorghums  which  America 
still  hoped  would  one  day  fill  her  sugar  bowl.  Of  all  these 
sightseers,  only  two,  so  far  as  we  have  any  record,  were 
interested  enough  to  ask  for  samples.  Perhaps  these  two 
had  come  in  touch  at  Philadelphia;  who  knows?  One  was 
a  Georgia  planter,  Mr.  J.  A.  Meeker,  of  Marietta,  who  took 
the  seeds  home  and  grew  the  plants  for  a  few  years,  but 
finally  lost  his  stock  of  seed  by  mice  and  rats.  The  second 
was  an  English  officer  from  Egypt,  said  to  have  been  a 
Gen.  Graves,  who  traveled  through  the  South  after  visiting 
the  exposition.  He  left  a  very  small  quantity  of  the  white 
seed  at  the  Georgia  State  Department  of  Agriculture,  during 
his  stop  in  Atlanta. 

On  February  14,  1877,  a  thimbleful  of  the  seed  was  sent 
by  Dr.  T.  P.  Janes,  then  State  commissioner  of  agriculture, 
to  Dr.  J.  H.  Watkins,  of  Palmetto,  Ga.  For  eight  years, 
from  1877  to  1884,  he  grew  it,  selected  it,  and  increased  his 

Yea-book  U.  S.  Dept.  of  Agriculture,  1913. 

Plate  XXIX. 

Fig.  1.— Plants  of  Different  Varieties  of  Sorghum  from  India. 
(Photographed  by  author.) 

Fig.  2.— Field  of  Kaoliang  Curing  in  the  Shock,  Harbin,  Manchuria. 
( Photographed  by  Frank  X.  Meyer.) 

Fig.  3.— Five  Varieties  of  Kaoliang. 

Lett  to  right:  C.  I.  No.  273  (S.  P.  I.  No.  21078),  Vallev  Brown;  C.  I.  No.  293  (S.  P.  I.  No. 
22011),  Shantung  Dwarf;  C.  I.  No.  309  (S.  P.  I.  No.  22911),  Vallev  Brown;  C.  I.  No.  272  (S. 
P.  I.  No.  210771,  Mukden  White;  C.  I.  No.  310  (S.  P.  I.  No.  22912),  Barchet  Blackhull. 
(I'hotographcd  by  author,  1908.) 

Fig.  1.— Plants  of  Two  Abyssinian  Sorghums. 

S.  P.  I.  No.  11084,  tall  an<l  still  growing,  September  26, 
1906,  and  S.  P.  I.  No.  110C2,3  feet  tall  and  in  fruit,  Sep- 
tember 16, 1905.    (Photographed  by  author.) 

Fig.  2.— Heads  of  Four  Varieties  of  Kafir. 

A,  White  kafir;  li,  Guinea  kafir  (Guinea  corn  of  the 
West  Indies):  C,  Blaekhull  kafir;  D,  Ked  kafir. 
(About  one-fifth  natural  size.) 

Yearbook  U.  S.  Dept.  of  Agriculture,  1913. 

*  *      %     •* 

♦  %        ft    ft    ft 

•       %        *     ft      * 


V  ' 

Fig.  1.— Seeds  of  Grain  Sorghums. 

A    Milo-  B   White  durra;  C,  ISlackhuU  kafir;  Z>.  Red  kafir;  E,  Brown  kaoliang;  F,  Shallu. 

(Slightly  reduced.) 

Fig.  2.— Plat  of  Dwarf  Milo,  Showing  Pendent  (Gooseneckedj  Heads. 
(Photographed  by  author.) 

Yearbook  U.  S.  Dept.  of  Agriculture,  1913. 

Plate   XXXII. 

Fig.  1. -Three  Plants  of  Blackhull  Kafir,  5.5  Feet  High,  Selected  for  Low 
Stature  and  High  Yielding  Power. 

( Photographed  by  author.) 

Fig.  2.— Original  Plat  of  Dwarf  and  Early  Blackhull  Kafir  (C.  I.  No.  340.) 
(Photographed  by  author.) 

The  Grain  Sorghums.  225 

stock  of  seed.  In  1885  and  1886  he  began  to  distribute  it 
personally  and  through  the  Georgia  State  Department  of 
Agriculture,  and  in  1886  through  Hon.  Norman  J.  Colman, 
United  States  Commissioner  of  Agriculture. 


Just  at  the  time  the  White  kafir  was  being  sent  out  on 
its  first  missionary  journeys  to  the  dry-land  West,  there 
appeared  a  new  sorghum  immigrant  in  the  South.  It  was 
first  brought  to  notice  in  South  Carolina,  but  no  one  knows 
just  when  or  whence  it  came.  Almost  certainly,  however,  it 
arrived  from  Africa,  and  perhaps  as  a  stowaway.  Relatives 
have  since  been  found  in  irrigated  Egypt,  but  the  same  plant 
has  not  again  appeared.  In  this  country  it  was  first  known 
as  "yellow  millo  maize."  The  crop  most  commonly  known 
at  that  time  as  "millo  maize,"  however,  was  a  white-seeded 
variety  (see  PI.  XXX,  fig.  2,  B)  from  the  West  Indies,  called 
there  "Guinea  corn"  by  the  English  and  "petit  millet"  by 
the  French.  The  yellow-seeded  immigrant  never  became 
well  known  in  the  South,  but  was  carried  westward  early  by 
emigrating  planters  and  soon  became  established  in  Texas. 


While  the  immigrant  crops  already  described  were  finding 
place  in  the  older  settled  States,  the  thin  skirmish  line  of 
pioneer  farmers  had  been  thrown  far  out  into  the  Great 
American  Desert.  These  were  followed  closely  by  the  larger 
army  of  settlers  seeking  homes  on  the  newer,  cheaper  lands 
of  the  West. 

Kansas  bore  the  brunt  of  the  battle  against  the  desert. 
Oklahoma  was  largely  closed  to  settlement  until  1890,  and 
much  of  western  Texas  was  occupied  and  dominated  by 
immense  cattle  ranches.  Within  the  borders  of  Kansas, 
however,  the  influx  of  settlers  was  very  rapid.  The  popula- 
tion increased  more  in  the  three  years  1871-1873,  inclusive, 
than  in  the  entire  decade  previous.  This  was  due  partly  to 
the  early  history  of  the  State,  partly  to  encouragement  given 
to  settlers  by  State  agencies,  and  partly  because  of  the  early 
building  of  two  transcontinental  railways  across  the  Com- 

Settlers  from  the  older  and  more  humid  States,  good  farm- 
ers under  the  conditions  with  which  they  were  familiar, 
poured  out  into  the  Plains  area  during  the  decade  beginning 

27306°— tbk  1913—15 

226  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

with  1871.  The  crop  varieties  used  were  those  adapted  to 
more  humid  conditions.  The  principles  of  dry  farming  were 
then  unknown,  and  experiments  to  determine  them  were  not 
yet  begun. 

Disappointment  and  discouragement  awaited  many  of  the 
new  settlers,  especially  those  in  the  farthest  West.  Climatic 
conditions  were  much  more  severe  than  they  had  experienced 
or  expected.  Years  of  deficient  rainfall  and  drought  occurred. 
Sometimes  gales  of  wind  in  spring  destroyed  young  crops  and 
moved  vast  quantities  of  soil  from  the  fields  to  fence  rows, 
farmyards,  and  other  drift-making  shelters.  Hot  and 
scorching  winds  in  midsummer  sometimes  blasted  crops  in  a 
single  day.  Immense  swarms  of  hungry  grasshoppers  moved 
to  and  fro  during  1874,  devouring  growing  crops  almost  in  a 
night.  They  appeared  again  in  some  sections  for  periods  of 
two  and  three  years  thereafter.  These  conditions,  espe- 
cially the  destructive  winds  and  recurring  drought,  were 
wholly  new  and  strange  to  most  of  the  farmers. 

Successive  periods  of  drought  rolled  back  the  advancing 
wave  of  settlement  time  after  time,  now  here,  now  there, 
leaving  deserted  farms  and  ruined  villages  in  their  wake. 
Settlers  surveying  the  grass-covered  and  flower-tinted  prai- 
ries in  the  warmth  and  beauty  of  spring  could  not  realize  the 
pitiless  sky  and  parched  earth  of  many  a  midsummer.  It 
seemed  to  them  incredible  that  so  fair  a  prospect  could  be 
utterly  mocked  by  the  lack  of  a  few  inches  of  rain.  Nor  was 
the  advice  given  them  always  of  the  best.  As  late  as  the  end 
of  1880,  a  year  of  great  drought,  Kansas  settlers  were  assured 
by  the  then  professor  of  meteorology  at  their  State  Univer- 
sity that  increased  rainfall  with  increased  settlement  was 
practically  a  certainty.  Doubtless  he  was  misled  by  the 
unsuspected  incompleteness  of  early  rainfall  records  from 
frontier  army  posts  and  by  a  certain  apparent  periodicity  of 
precipitation  in  that  area.  At  any  rate,  most  who  heard 
believed,  because  it  was  what  they  wanted  to  believe.  Bad 
as  1880  had  been,  1881  was  far  worse.  Corn  was  a  complete 
failure  in  the  western  counties,  and  the  average  acre  yield 
for  the  entire  State  was  less  than  20  bushels.  The  native 
vegetation  of  the  Plains  consists  of  types  which  can  with- 
stand such  adverse  conditions,  through  one  adaptation  of 
another.  Manifestly  farm  crops  and  farm  practices  also 
must  have  special  adaptations  in  order  to  be  successful  in 
such  an  environment. 

The  Grain  Sorghums.  227 


Under  the  conditions  described,  one  may  well  believe  tbat 
earnest  search  was  made  for  adapted  crops.  Sorghums  were 
quickly  in  the  minds  of  many.  Sorgos  or  sweet  sorghums 
had  been  grown  by  the  earliest  settlers  and  their  drought 
resistance  proved.  Were  all  sorghums  drought  resistant? 
No  one  knew,  but  plenty  were  willing  to  try.  Out  in  Cali- 
fornia, the  two  dun-as,  there  called  "Egyptian  corn,"  had 
been  found  to  grow  well  on  dry  farms.  They  were  brought 
to  Kansas  in  1879  and  in  the  years  1880-1882  over  30,000 
acres  were  grown  annually,  after  which  their  production  de- 
clined. In  spite  of  their  ability  to  withstand  drought,  they 
were  not  profitable.  Of  low  stature  and  scanty  foliage,  they 
yielded  little  fodder  where  fodder  was  greatly  in  demand. 
The  heads  were  pendent  and  troublesome  to  gather.  The 
grain  also  shattered  badly  in  the  field  in  windy  weather  and 
during  harvest.  So  sorgos  were  grown  for  forage  and  the 
•search  for  an  adapted  grain  crop  continued. 

In  1885  Dr.  Watkins  and  the  Georgia  State  Department 
of  Agriculture  first  began  to  distribute  the  White  kafir,  and 
in  1886  the  United  States  Department  of  Agriculture  took 
part  in  the  propaganda.  As  soon  as  it  reached  the  dry 
lands  it  was  seen  to  be  adapted  to  the  conditions.  By  1888 
it  was  appearing  on  the  farms  of  Kansas.  It  was  as  drought 
resistant  as  any  sorghum  in  the  peculiar  ability  to  suspend 
growth  through  considerable  periods  of  drought  and  to 
resume  growth  when  favorable  conditions  were  restored. 
The  stalks  were  erect  and  leafy  and  remained  green  until  the 
seed  was  ripe,  thus  making  good  fodder  as  well  as  grain. 
The  seed  remained  firmly  held  in  the  glumes  while  the  crop 
cured  in  the  field,  thus  preventing  any  waste.  Here  was  the 
ideal  crop  for  the  dry  country.  Farm  settlement  took  a 
fresh  start,  and  the  new  crop  and  the  new  farm  developed 

Data  on  the  acreage  of  kafir  were  first  available  for  1893, 
when  there  were  47,000  acres  in  Kansas.  The  acreage 
increased  100  per  cent  annually  for  the  next  three  years  and 
continued  to  increase  to  the  end  of  the  first  decade  covered 
by  statistics,  reaching  high-water  mark  at  three-quarters 
of  a  million  acres  in  1902.  This  maximum  followed  the 
seriously  unfavorable  season  of  1901,  when  corn  was  a  total 
failure  in  the  western  sections  and  yielded  little  more  than 

228  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

6  bushels  to  the  acre  for  the  entire  State.  Two  or  three 
years  more  favorable  to  com  and  the  lack  of  a  profitable 
market  for  surplus  kafir  then  checked  the  increase  for  the 
next  eight  years.  From  1903  to  1910  the  Kansas  grain- 
sorghum  acreage  varied  between  530,000  and  740,000  acres 
annually.  In  Oklahoma  from  1904  to  1910  the  area  varied 
between  390,000  and  685,000  acres,  the  maximum  occurring 
in  1909. 

Meantime  chemical  analysis  had  shown  the  grain  sorghums 
(PI.  XXXI,  fig.  1)  to  be  very  similar  to  corn  in  composition. 
Digestion  trials  and  feeding  tests  had  proved  them  to  have 
90  per  cent  of  the  value  of  corn  for  feeding  purposes.  A  10 
per  cent  advantage  in  drought  resistance  and  consequent 
average  yield  would  make  the  grain  sorghums  equal  to  corn 
as  farm  crops.  This  advantage  they  had,  and  more.  At  the 
same  time  field  experiments  with  these  crops  were  showing 
the  need  of  new  theories  to  account  for  the  behavior  of  dif- 
ferent varieties  under  similar  conditions. 


That  sorghums  of  all  kinds  were  drought  resistant  was  very 
early  apparent.  That  some  sorts  escaped  from  as  well  as 
resisted  drought  was  slower  to  be  realized.  Such  varieties 
as  did  best  in  dry  seasons  were  thought  to  be  more  drought 
resistant  in  some  way  than  other  varieties.  Gradually  came 
a  better  knowledge  of  the  movement  and  storage  of  soil 
moisture  and  of  its  transpiration  by  dry-land  crops.  It  was 
seen  that  earliness  aided  a  crop  to  escape  drought  by  short- 
ening the  period  during  which  water  was  required.  Dwarf 
stature  and  small  leaf  area  also  helped  to  reduce  the  quan- 
tity of  water  needed  in  any  given  period. 

Thus  was  recognized  the  existence  and  value  of  characters 
which  enable  drought-resistant  crops  further  to  escape  and 
evade  drought.  Dwarf  plants  with  small  leaf  area  may 
escape  drought  when  it  occurs  because  they  use  the  stored 
soil  water  more  slowly  than  larger  plants  with  larger  leaf 
areas.  Thus  the  stored  supply  may  last  until  they  are 
mature  or  until  the  drought  is  broken.  Earliness  aids  the 
plant  to  evade  drought  by  bringing  it  to  maturity  before  the 
drought  occurs  or  beco'mes  severe.  When  these  principles 
became  fully  recognized,  the  quest  for  dwarf  and  early 
strains  was  given  a  great  impetus.     The  need  of  such  strains 

The  Grain  SorgTiums.  229 

for  use  farther  north  and  at  higher  elevations  had.  been  felt 
before.  To  this  need  was  now  added  the  equally  pressing 
need  for  drought  escapers. 


The  search  for  dwarf  and  early  strains  to  meet  these  needs 
and  conditions  was  begun  promptly  by  the  United  States 
Department  of  Agriculture.  While  explorers  ransacked  the 
corners  of  the  earth  for  desirable  forms,  breeding  was  com- 
menced with  the  most  promising  material  in  hand. 

A  dwarf  strain  of  milo  (PI.  XXXI,  fig.  2) ,  its  origin  unknown, 
was  already  here,  needing  little  improvement  except  in  the 
matter  of  pendent  heads.  The  White  kafir  as  originally 
introduced  in  the  Plains  was  fairly  dwarf  and  early,  but  it 
had  one  serious  defect,  namely,  the  tendency  of  the  heads  to 
remain  partly  included  in  the  boot.  This  must  be  overcome 
if  it  was  to  be  of  value.  Dwarf  strains  and  early  strains  of 
Blackhull  kafir,  the  favorite  crop,  were  yet  to  be  created. 

From  the  many  strains  of  Blackhull  kafir  under  test  a 
large  number  of  head  selections  were  made  from  stalks  having 
low  stature  (PI.  XXXII,  fig.  1)  and  other  desirable  characters. 
In  the  summer  of  1908  an  extra  dwarf  row  appeared  in  the 
series  of  dwarf  selections.  From  this  row  was  bred  the 
Dwarf  kafir  (PL  XXXII,  fig.  2),  now  becoming  so  popular. 
It  reaches  a  height  of  only  3  to  4  feet  and  matures  7  to  10 
days  earlier  than  ordinary  acclimated  strains  of  Blackhull 
kafir.  It  can  thus  be  grown  in  a  shorter  season  than  other 
strains  and  is  also  more  drought  escaping.  At  the  same  time 
and  from  the  same  source  was  produced  an  early-maturing 
strain  which  retains  the  height  of  the  ordinary  kafir.  In 
Plate  XXXIII  are  shown  the  comparative  earliness  of  the 
Dwarf  and  Standard  Blackhull  kafirs,  growing  side  by  side 
on  the  high  plains  of  northwestern  Texas. 

.  In  1907  another  immigrant  came  to  us  out  of  Africa. 
This  time  it  was  from  the  wild  and  turbulent  region  of  the 
British  Egyptian  Sudan — from  historic  Khartum,  where 
"Chinese"  Gordon  wrought  and  ruled  and  where  he  finally 
perished  in  the  fanatical  uprising  that  closed  the  Sudan  for 
long  and  bitter  years.  This  durra  variety,  known  as  feterita, 
or  Sudan  durra  (PI. XXXI V,  fig.  1),  is  marked  by  erect  heads, 
white  seed,  fairly  dwarf  stature,  and  early  maturity.  These 
are  all  desirable  characters,  and  it  gives  promise  of  some 

230  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

value  as  a  dry-land  crop.  Just  now  enormously  inflated 
values  are  being  ascribed  to  it  because  in  many  cases  it 
produced  grain  in  1913  when  kafir  and  even  milo  failed. 
However,  its  larger,  softer  seed  and  somewhat  weaker  ger- 
mination cause  rather  thinner  stands  than  are  obtained  from 
kafir  and  milo.  In  the  dry  season  of  1913  these  thin  stands 
were  its  salvation,  as  has  been  noted  also  in  other  seasons. 
What  its  permanent  place  and  value  shall  be  it  is  yet  too 
early  to  predict. 

It  was  soon  found  that  the  milos  and  durras  could  not  be 
depended  upon  to  furnish  grain  as  far  north  as  Nebraska  and 
South  Dakota.  The  heat  units  available,  especially  at  night, 
seemed  insufficient.  Could  sorghums  be  found  which  had  ac- 
quired, through  the  centuries,  that  acclimation  and  adaptation 
to  northern  climates  needed  in  this  case?  The  southern 
boundary  of  South  Dakota  is  in  latitude  43°  and  the  north 
line  about  46°.  The  only  region  in  the  world  which  grows 
sorghums  abundantly  as  far  as  40°  from  the  equator  is  Man- 
churia. Many  varieties  of  the  kaoliang  from  northern  China, 
Manchuria,  and  Korea  were  obtained,  tested,  and  classified. 
(See  PI.  XXIX,  fig.  3.)  The  earliest  of  all  proved  to  be  a 
plant  of  medium  size  from  Manchuria  (PL  XXXIV,  fig.  2), 
which  was  described  and  named  Manchu  Brown  (C.  I.  Nos.  171, 
261,  and  328).  While  not  a  heavy  yielder,  it  has  consistently 
outyielded  corn  in  the  central  part  of  South  Dakota  and  is 
now  being  distributed  to  South  Dakota  farmers  by  the  State 
experiment  station  and  the  United  States  Department  of 



During  those  years  when  the  grain-sorghum  acreage  was 
increasing  most  rapidly,  as  also  in  the  later  8-year  period 
when  it  remained  stationary,  the  area  devoted  to  corn  was 
steadily  enlarged.  Corn  was  king,  his  supremacy  as  yet 
unchallenged.  To  deny  his  royalty  was  treason.  But  the 
appreciation  of  kafir  and  milo  as  comparatively  safe  crops 
in  dry  seasons  was  increasing.  So  was  the  knowledge  that 
corn  was  a  doomed  crop  in  a  year  of  drought.  Land  sellers 
still  said  corn  was  the  crop  to  grow;  ergo,  corn  must  be  grown. 
But  facts  are  stubborn  things.  The  theory  of  increasing  rain- 
fall had  long  since  been  dried  out  of  the  most  credulous  miads. 
Empty  pockets  and  empty  stomachs  speak  louder  than 
tongues  and  are  far  more  efficient  in  opening  eyes  and  dis- 

The  Grain  Sorghums. 


arming  prejudice.  Promoters  and  growers  alike  began  to  see 
a  great  light.  Reduction  of  the  corn  acreage  was  openly  ad- 
vocated. Farmers,  farm  papers,  scientists,  merchants,  bank- 
kers,  land  men,  and  railroads  all  joined  in  an  aggressive  cam- 
paign to  promote  the  growing  of  kafir  and  milo  instead  of  corn 
in  the  drier  Plains.  In  Oklahoma  it  was  even  seriously  pro- 
posed that  credit  and  loans  be  denied  to  any  farmer  not 
planting  at  least  a  certain  acreage  of  kafir.  Doubtless  some 
foolish  talk  was  indulged  in  and  much  foolish  advice  given 
during  the  campaign,  but  of  the  results  there  can  be  no  doubt. 
There  was  a  decided  decrease  in  the  acreage  of  corn  and  a  com- 
paratively enormous  increase  in  the  area  devoted  to  grain 

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Fio.  5.— Graphic  presentation  of  the  comparative  area  in  millions  of  acres  of 
grain  sorghum  and  corn  in  Kansas  for  the  ten  years  1904-1913,  inclusive. 

The  coincidence  of  the  declining  corn  area  and  the  increas- 
ing acreage  of  kafir  and  milo  in  Kansas  can  be  seen  at  a 
glance  in  figures  5  and  9.  Figure  5  tells  the  story  for 
Kansas  as  a  whole  and  figure  9  for  the  46  counties  comprising 
the  western  half.  In  this  State  the  grain-sorghum  area 
jumped  to  1,093,000  acres  in  1911,  1,605,000  acres  in  1912, 
and  1,633,000  acres  in  1913.  The  maximum  area  devoted 
to  corn  in  Kansas  was  8,590,000  acres  grown  in  1910.  In 
1911  and  1912  the  area  decreased  nearly  1,000,000  acres  a 

What  caused  the  rapid  change  in  comparative  acreage? 
A  growing  knowledge  of  comparative  acre  values!  Mere 
acres  count  for  little  unless  they  produce  profits.  Figure  6 
shows  the  acre  value  of  both  crops  in  Kansas  during  the  last 
10  years.     For  the  entire  State  the  average  acre  value  of 

232  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

kafir  and  milo  was  $2.14  greater  than  that  of  corn.  The 
production  of  these  crops  is  also  more  regular  and  evenly 
distributed.  These  statistics,  taken  from  the  reports  of  the 
Kansas  State  Board  of  Agriculture,  are  not  wholly  fair  to 
corn,  however.  They  include  the  value  of  both  grain  and 
stover  in  grain  sorghums,  but  only  the  grain  value  of  the  corn. 
If  the  stover  value  of  corn  were  included  the  average  values 
would  be  more  nearly  equal. 

How  nature  helped  to  swing  the  pendulum  is  seen  when 
corn  yields  are  considered.  For  1907  to  1909  the  average 
yield  in  Kansas  was  only  about  20  bushels  per  acre;  in  1910 
less  than  18  bushels;  in  1911  less  than  13  bushels;  in  1912  it 

ACH£    VALUE-  Or  G04/fS-SO&6HUf>r  AA/O  COV/V  /A/  /CW3XS 

fZZZZZi  &2A/N-iSOflGW/V 

Fig.  6 — Graphic  presentation  of  the  annual  acre  value  in  dollars  per  acre  of  grain 
sorghum  and  corn  in  Kansas  for  the  ten  years  1904-1913,  inclusive,  and  average 
acre  value  for  the  10-year  period. 

increased  to  nearly  23  bushels,  but  in  1913  was  only  2.75  bush- 
els. It  would  be  very  interesting  to  compare  the  yields  of 
grain  sorghum  and  corn,  but  unfortunately  statistics  of  the 
former  are  given  in  tons  of  crop  and  of  the  latter  in  bushels  of 

While  this  was  being  done  in  Kansas,  Oklahoma  also  was 
making  history.  Figure  7  tells  the  story  of  Oklahoma's 
acres,  while  figure  11  shows  what  happened  in  the  21  counties 
contained  in  the  western  third  of  the  State.  She  produced 
625,000  acres  of  grain  sorghums  in  1910  and  873,000  acres  in 
1911,  an  increase  of  a  quarter  million  acres.  No  data  for 
1912  and  1913  are  available,  but  there  is  every  reason  to 
believe,  from  the  vigorous  campaign  waged,  that  the  in- 
crease was  proportional  to  that  in  Kansas.  Oklahoma 
reached  her  maximum  corn  area  in  1909  with  5,135,000 

Yearbook  U.  S.  Dept. 

of  Agriculture 




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Fig.  1  .—A  Plat  of  Dwarf  Blackhull  Kafir  (C.  I.  No.  340 1,  August  31 ,  1911. 

Compare  its  carlincss  with  that  of  standard  Blackhull  kafir  (fig.  2)  planted  on  the  same  day. 
(Photographed  by  author.) 

i  •' ,         \J 




S^yl  <®wPc!C!to 




Fig.  2.— A  Plat  of  Blackhull  Kafir  iC.  I.  No.  71  I,  August  31,  1911. 

Compare  the  stage  of  development  wilh  that  of  the  Dwarf  Blackhull  kafir  in  figure  1, planted  on 
the  same  day  in  an  adjacent  plat.    (Photographed  by  author.) 

Yearbook  U.  S.  Deot.  of  Agriculture,  1913. 

Plate  XXXIV. 

Fig.  1.— A  Plat  of  Feterita,  Showing  Thin  Stand  and  Uneven  Growth. 
(Photographed  by  author,  August  31, 1911.) 

Fig.  2.— Plat  of  Selected  Manchu  Kaoliang  (C.  I.  No.  171). 
(Photographed  by  author.) 

Yearbook  U.  S.  Dept.  of  Agriculture,  1913. 

Plate  XXXV. 

f*  m  «►  f^  $ 


Fig.  1.— Milo  Seeds,  Hulled  and  Unhulled,  and  a  Small  Branch  of  a  Head. 

iNatural  Size. i 

Fig.  2.-Milo  Field  in  Shock,  XIT  Ranch,  Channing,  Tex.,  September  1 8,  1 906. 
(  Photographed  hy  author.) 

Fig.  3.— Field  of  Milo  as  Improved  by  Selection,  from  4  to  A'<  Feet  Tall, 

Slender,  Without  Branches,  Heads  Mostly  Erect. 

(Photographed  by  author.) 

The  Grain  Sorghums. 


acres.     In  1910  and  1911  the  decline  was  at  the  rate  of  more 
than  a  million  acres  a  year,  as  shown  in  figure  7. 

Figure  8  shows  the  acre  value  of  both  crops  in  Oklahoma 
for  eight  years,  beginning  in  1904.     Corn  has  an  average  ad- 

'4/XA  OF  6/D4W  SO&6M/M  A  WO  COfW  M  OMW/OM/I 

fif/LUOfi/S  OF  ACFCS 








1910   i^j^y 


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Fig.  7.— Graphic  presentation  of  the  comparative  area  in 
millions  of  acres  of  grain  sorghum  and  corn  in  Okla- 
homa for  the  eight  years  1904-1911,  inclusive. 

vantage  of  $2 .26  per  acre  for  the  period.  This  reversal  of  the 
Kansas  figures  is  due  to  three  or  four  things  which  profit  corn. 
Oklahoma  lies  in  a  more  southerly  latitude  than  Kansas. 
The  Oklahoma  statistics  include  the  stover,  value  of  only  a 
small  part  of  the  grain  sorghum.  The  grain  sorghums  are 
largely  restricted  to  the  drier  western  third  of  Oklahoma. 
(See  fig.  11.)  The  very  unfavorable  season  of  1913  is  not  in- 
cluded, for  lack  of  data. 

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Fig.  8.— Graphic  presentation  of  the  annual  acre  value  in  dollarsper  acre 
of  grain  sorghum  and  corn  in  Oklahoma  for  the  eight  years  1904-1911, 
inclusive,  and  average  acre  value  for  the  eight-year  period. 

In  Oklahoma  the  average  yield  of  corn  in  1907  and  1908 
was  less  than  19  bushels;  in  1909  less  than  14  bushels;  in 
1910  less  than  12  bushels;  and  in  1911  little  more  than  6 
bushels.  Statistics  of  production  for  1912  and  1913  are  not 
available,  but  it  is  certain  that  the  average  yield  in  1913  was 
very  small.     Such  yields  for  the  entire  State  usually  mean 

234  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

almost  complete  failure  of  corn  in  the  western  portions.  The 
actual  annual  yields  of  the  grain  sorghums  would  be  very- 
desirable  here,  also,  but  a  portion  of  the  crop  is  reported  in 

AREA   OF  GtfAM  <SO/?&/i/A7  SWO  COftM  W  TH£ 

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Fig.  9.— Graphic  presentation  of  the  area  in  millions  of 
acres  of  grain  sorghum  and  corn  in  the  46  comities  com- 
prising the  western  half  of  Kansas  and  lying  wholly- 
west  of  the  ninety-eighth  meridian,  for  the  10  years 
1904-1913,  inclusive,  and  average  area  for  the  10-year 

bushels  of  grain  and  the  remainder  in  tons  of  crop  and  the 
acreage  is  not  separated. 

Where  then  should  kafir  and  milo  be  grown  in  preference 
to  corn?    Figures  9,  10,  11,  and  12  assist  in  answering  this 
*g<?f  Mcc/s  of  &S4/A/  so&GHurt  awo  cae/v  //v  rste  wssre/w 

M<4£.F  OF  /OWSsfS. 






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Fig.  10.— Graphic  presentation  of  the  annual  acre  value  in  dollars  per  acre  of  grain  sorghum 
and  corn  in  the  46  counties  comprising  the  western  half  of  Kansas  and  lying  wholly  west 
of  the  ninety-eighth  meridian,  for  the  10  years  1904-1913,  inclusive,  and  average  acre  value 
for  the  10-year  period. 

question.    Half  of  Kansas,  containing  46  counties,  lies  west  of 
the  ninety-eighth  meridian.     Figure  9  shows  the  area  of  grain 

The  Grain  Sorghums. 


sorghum  and  corn  in  those  counties.  Nineteen  of  them 
already  grow  more  kafir  and  milo  than  corn.  The  average  acre 
value  for  this  area,  as  shown  in  figure  10,  proves  the  grain 
sorghum  to  be  the  more  profitable  crop.  We  have  already 
seen  that  for  the  whole  State  of  Kansas  the  average  acre 
value  of  the  grain  sorghums  was  $2.14  higher  than  that  of  corn 
during  the  10-year  period,  while  in  the  western  half  of  the 
State  it  was  $3.51  higher.  These  figures  include  the  value  of 
the  grain-sorghum  stover,  but  not  that  of  corn.  However, 
corn  stover  is  scanty  and  worth  but  little  in  dry  areas.  After 
allowing  a  fair  price  for  it,  the  grain  sorghums  are  still  worth 
considerably  more  per  acre  than  corn  in  the  drier  portion  of 



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Fig.  11.— Graphic  presentation  of  the  annual  area  in  mil- 
lions of  acres  of  grain  sorghum  and  corn  in  the  21  counties 
comprising  the  western  third  of  Oklahoma  and  lying  wholly 
west  of  the  ninety-eighth  meridian,  for  the  8  years  1904- 
1911,  inclusive. 

the  State.  This  fact,  together  with  their  more  uniformly 
certain  production,  ought  to  cause  further  increase  in  the 
acreage  of  kafir  and  milo  in  western  Kansas. 

A  comparison  of  figure  9  with  figure  5  shows  that  fully 
half  of  the  Kansas  grain  sorghum  is  grown  in  the  eastern  half 
of  the  State.  The  acre  value  for  the  entire  State  indicates, 
moreover,  that  it  pays  to  grow  it  in  eastern  Kansas,  at  least 
on  the  uplands. 

Similarly,  one-third  of  Oklahoma,  containing  21  counties, 
lies  west  of  the  ninety-eighth  meridian.  Figure  11  shows  the 
acreage  in  this  area  of  the  two  crops  under  discussion.  Nine 
of  these  counties  in  1911  grew  more  kafir  and  milo  than  corn. 
Figure  12  tells  why  they  did  it  and  why  more  of  them 
probably  were  doing  it  in  1913.  In  sharp  contrast  to  Kan- 
sas, a  comparison  of  figure  1 1  and  figure  7  shows  only  about 
one-fifth  of  the  grain-sorghum  crop  grown  in   the  eastern 


Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

two-thirds  of  the  State.  When  we  consider  the  acre  values 
given  in  figure  8  for  all  Oklahoma  and  in  figure  12  ior  the 
western  third,  there  is  developed  a  deep  suspicion  that  it 
would  be  very  profitable  to  grow  kafir  and  milo  farther 
east  in  Oklahoma. 

Meanwhile  what  of  Texas,  the  great  dry-farming  empire 
of  the  South?  We  know  that  during  the  years  when  the 
kafir  industry  was  developing  in  Kansas,  milo  had  been  car- 
ried into  Texas  by  westward-faring  emigrants.  Gradually 
it  became  established  on  the  farms  and  ranches  of  the  drier 
western  portions  of  the  State  (Plate  XXXV).  No  statistical 
data  are  to  be  had,  but  we  know  it  increased  steadily  and 

*cfre  i^/n/e  <?/"•  G&4//vsoaGf/i/M  aa/o  co/tn/  m  thf  . 

tVEST&M   TM/ffO   OP  OKtJ*HQ/IM 

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Fig.  12.— Graphic  presentation  of  the  annual  acre  value  in  dollars  per  acre 
of  grain  sorghum  and  corn  in  the  21  counties  comprising  the  western 
third  of  Oklahoma  and  lying  wholly  west  of  the  ninety-eighth  meridian, 
for  the  8  years  1904-1911,  inclusive,  and  average  acre  value  for  the  8-year 

also  that  the  kafirs  were  soon  introduced  and  became  popular. 
There  is  every  reason  to  believe  that  the  area  devoted  to  these 
two  crops  in  Texas  has  more  than  equaled  the  area  grown  in 
Kansas,  at  least  until  the  recent  enormous  increase. 

It  is  to  be  regretted  that  no  complete  and  separate  statistics 
of  the  acreage  and  production  of  grain  sorghums  are  obtained 
by  the  Federal  Census  Bureau.  Separate  data  are  now 
gathered  and  reported  on  that  portion  of  the  crop  from 
which  the  grain  is  thrashed.  The  portion,  however,  which  is 
not  thrashed,  but  fed. either  in  the  head  or  bundle,  or  used  for 
silage,  is  lumped  with  fodder  and  silage  corn,  sorgos  (saccha- 
rine sorghums),  pearl  millet,  teosinte,  etc.,  as  coarse  forage. 
The  acreage  represented  by  each  crop  is  not  shown  separately. 
Much  of  the  kafir  and  milo  crop  grown  in  western  Oklahoma 
and  western  Texas  is  not  thrashed  because  of  the  scarcity 

The  Grain  Sorghums.  237 

of  grain  separators,  this  section  not  producing  very  large 
quantities  of  other  cereals.  The  acreage  and  importance 
of  grain  sorghums  would  now  seem  fully  to  warrant  the 
obtaining  and  publication  of  complete  statistics  of  acreage 
and  production  wholly  apart  from  those  of  any  other  crop. 


From  the  beginning  the  kafirs  and  milos  have  fed  the  farm 
horses  that  worked  to  raise  the  settler's  crop  and  the  faithful 
cow  that  gave  his  children  drink.  They  have  fed  the  hogs 
that  fit  so  handily  into  the  economy  of  every  farm.  They 
have  fed  the  chickens  that,  more  often  than  is  known,  have 
stpod  between  the  new  settler  and  privation  or  failure. 

With  the  testimony  of  the  chemical  analysis  and  feeding 
experiment,  kafir  and  milo  grain  began  to  enter  the  feeding 
ration  of  beef  cattle  on  the  Plains.  Kafir  chops  and  milo 
chops  became  staple  articles  of  bovine  diet  and  kafir-fed 
cattle  were  commended  at  the  great  stock  markets.  Mean- 
time the  manufacturers  of  poultry  feeds  found  in  kafir  the 
most  desirable  form  of  feeding  grain.  In  the  thousands  of 
tons  of  such  feeds  made  annually  in  the  United  States  about 
25  per  cent  of  the  material  is  kafir  grain. 

These  grains  have  also  a  place  in  the  human  diet.  Ground 
in  the  coffee  mill  on  the  wall  of  the  farm  kitchen,  the  meal 
has  made  many  a  stack  of  batter  cakes  on  winter  mornings. 
Mixed  with  varying  proportions  of  wheat  flour  it  is  susceptible 
of  every  use  to  which  corn  meal  may  be  put.  As  flour  it 
will  always  be  a  failure.  Like  corn  meal,  it  contains  no 
gluten  and  so  will  not  rise  as  dough,  no  matter  how  much  it 
be  coaxed.  But  as  meal  it  has  a  flavor  of  its  own  and  a  wide 
range  of  usefulness  in  plain  and  tasty  cooking.  Muffins, 
brown  bread,  corn  cakes,  and  pancakes  par  excellence  are 
for  him  who  uses  it.  In  puddings  and  in  pastries  it  will  do 
all  that  corn  meal  may. 

At  last  the  grain  sorghums  had  come  into  their  own.  No 
longer  were  they  to  be  regarded  as  servants,  faithful  indeed, 
but  inferior;  no  longer  as  poor  relations  of  corn,  honest,  per- 
haps, but  ragged.  Now  they  were  friends  and  equals,  with  a 
standing  in  the  community  won  strictly  on  their  merits. 

238  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 


It  was  left  to  Butler  County,  Kans.,  to  honor  herself  by 
arranging  the  first  public  reception  ever  given  to  kafir  and 
milo  in  this  country.  Butler  County  is  not  in  the  drier 
western  part  of  the  State,  but  in  the  more  humid  southeastern 
section.  Part  of  her  soil,  however,  as  that  of  some  adjacent 
counties,  is  underlain  at  slight  depths  by  rock,  and  the 
crops  grown  thereon  are  likely  to  suffer  at  times  from  lack  of 
soil  moisture.  Kafir  was  first  grown  in  Butler  County  in  1892, 
and  it  did  not  take  her  farmers  long  to  realize  that  to  such 
soils  kafir  was  better  adapted  than  corn.  So  the  acreage  of 
kafir  increased  year  by  year,  until  100,000  acres  were  planted 
in  1911.  , 

In  the  autumn  of  that  year  it  occurred  to  the  boosters  of 
Butler  County  to  celebrate  their  popular  crop.  A  three-day 
kafir  carnival  was  planned  to  take  place  on  October  18-20  at 
El  Dorado,  the  county  seat.  The  carnival  was  an  over- 
whelming success.  For  three  days  El  Dorado  was  a  kaleido- 
scope of  color,  a  mecca  of  merriment.  Fully  30,000  people 
are  said  to  be  have  been  present  during  the  celebration.  Kafir 
was  in  evidence  everywhere.  The  booths  were  constructed 
of  it,  the  buildings  were  decorated  with  it,  the  prizes  were 
given  for  it.  People  came  from  all  over  Kansas  to  question 
and  to  ponder,  and  went  away  to  praise. 


The  grain  sorghums  have  made  good  on  the  farm;  they 
have  been  honored  in  the  city.  Their  names  are  written  in 
the  social  register  and  in  the  Who's  Who  of  agronomy.  They 
mingle  with  wheat  and  corn,  the  elect,  on  the  boards  of  trade; 
they  are  rated  high  in  the  directories  of  commerce  and 
finance.  Hats  off,  and  a  hearty  cheer  as  they  go  forward  in 
the  full  strength  of  youth  to  quietly  continue  what  they 
have  thus  far  so  splendidly  done. 


By  T.  N.  Cakveh, 
Director,  Rural  Organization  Service. 


THE  application  of  steam  to  the  driving  of  machinery 
and  the  hauling  of  loads  is  commonly  regarded  as  the 
cause,  on  the  one  hand,  of  the  marvelous  industrial  expan- 
sion of  the  nineteenth  century,  and,  on  the  other,  of  the 
general  economic  disorganization  which  accompanied  that 
expansion.  The  breaking  up  of  household  and  domestic 
industries  and  the  substitution  therefor  of  the  factory  sys- 
tem, with,  in  its  early  stages  at  least,  its  hordes  of  unor- 
ganized workers,  has  usually  been  referred  to  as  the  indus- 
trial revolution.  This  transformation  was  by  no  means  so 
sudden  as  it  is  sometimes  pictured,  and  it  brought  much 
less  disaster  and  much  more  benefit  than  pessimistic  and 
reactionary  reformers  are  willing  to  admit.  Nevertheless, 
there  is  no  doubt  that  many  of  the  acute  problems  of  the 
urban  economy  of  the  present  day  grow  out  of  the  efforts 
of  the  laboring  classes  to  find  a  new  basis  of  organization  to 
take  the  place  of  the  old  organization  whose  foundations 
were  swept  away  by  the  creation  of  a  world  market  and  the 
rise  of  the  factory  system.  This  is  the  philosophy  of  that 
which  is  known  as  the  labor  movement. 

A  change  no  less  profound,  though  perhaps  less  spectac- 
ular, has  taken  place  in  the  rural  economy  of  the  civilized 
world,  that  is  to  say,  of  those  countries  where  mechanical 
inventions  have  played  such  a  powerful  role  as  they  have 
in  America  and  western  Europe.  Steam  and  electricity 
applied  to  transportation  and  communication  have  created 
a  world  market  for  most  agricultural  products  instead  of  the 
series  of  local,  restricted  markets  which  existed  formerly. 
Not  only  were  the  markets  local  and  restricted,  but  around 
such  markets  there  were  little  communities  which  were  self- 
sufficing  or  nearly  so.  Most  of  the  manufacturing  was  done 
either  on  the  farms  or  in  small  shops  whose  goods  were  ex- 
changed for  the  products  of  the  farms.  The  farms  were 
organized  at  one  time  in  village  communities,  which  were 


240  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

really  groups  of  small  farms,  where  the  crops,  their  rota- 
tion, the  time  of  plowing,  planting,  and  harvesting,  were 
determined  by  the  customs  of  the  village  or  the  authority 
of  the  villagers  as  a  whole,  where,  in  fact,  everything  con- 
nected with  farming  was  organized — overorganized,  as  we 
should  now  say.  At  another  time  they  were  under  what  is 
known  as  the  manorial  system,  in  which  the  villagers,  known 
as  villeins,  were  under  the  supervision  and  leadership  of  the 
lord  of  the  manor,  and  compelled  by  his  authority  to  per- 
form certain  common  work,  such  as  road  building,  diking, 
draining,  etc.,  besides  working  the  lands  reserved  for  the 
support  of  the  manor  house.  Inasmuch  as  the  lord  of  the 
manor  was  the  local  ruler  and  responsible  to  the  King  for 
the  safety  and  order  of  the  community,  these"  services  on  his 
land  may  be  regarded  as  substitutes  for  taxes  in  an  age  when 
there  was  very  little  commerce  and  practically  no  money  in 
circulation.  Whatever  we  may  think  of  the  village  com- 
munity with  its  tyranny  of  inflexible  custom,  or  of  the  manor 
with  its  practical  serfdom,  still  we  must  admit  that  both 
these  systems  furnished  a  kind  of  organization  which  made 
it  possible  to  think  in  terms  of  the  whole  community,  and 
to  direct  the  affairs  of  the  community  as  a  unit.  In  short, 
the  community  rather  than  the  individual  farm  was  the 
economic  unit. 

The  weakness  of  both  these  systems  was  that  the  coopera- 
tion, if  that  is  the  right  word  to  use,  was  compulsory  and  not 
voluntary.  In  the  village  community  the  individual  was 
controlled  by  the  tyranny  of  the  mass,  and  it  was  impossible 
for  the  individual  farmer,  however  wise  or  skillful  he  might 
be,  to  improve  his  methods  more  rapidly  than  the  average 
intelligence  would  permit.  The  manorial  system  was  some- 
what more  flexible,  and,  especially  under  a  wise  landlord, 
permitted  improvements  which  were  impossible  in  the 
village  community;  nevertheless  every  villager  was  subject 
to  the  will  of  the  lord  of  the  manor  and  was  permitted  to 
exercise  little  or  no  initiative.  The  mill  for  the  grinding  of 
grain  usually  belonged  to  the  lord,  as  did  the  bull  and  other 
expensive  articles  connected  with  agricultural  enterprise. 
Thus  there  were  certain  important  economies  effected  by 
this  system  of  compulsory  cooperation,  but,  like  all  systems 
of  compulsion,  it  left  little  room  for  individual  development. 
It  was  therefore  a  distinct  step  in  advance  when  the  manorial 
system  gave  way  to- a  more  individualistic  type  of  farming. 

The  Organization  of  Rural  Interests.  241 

Long  after  the  decay  of  the  manorial  system,  many  of  the 
advantages  of  an  organized  country  life  remained.  On  the 
large  English  estates,  for  example,  with  their  numerous 
tenants  and  their  resident  landlords,  the  latter  remained  the 
leaders  in  agricultural  enterprise.  The  fact  that  the  owners 
lived  on  their  estates  and  took  a  deep  interest  and  pride  in 
their  ancestral  acres  helped  to  soften  the  evils  of  the  tenant 
system.  An  intelligent  landlord  who  advised  his  tenants, 
directed  all  large  enterprises,  experimented  .with  different 
crops  and  methods,  and  improved  the  breeds  of  live  stock 
performed  most  of  the  functions  now  performed  by  a  county 
agent  or  demonstrator,  and  many  more  besides:  Again,  cer- 
tain communal  rights  remained  to  the  villagers  and  the  small 
farmers,  such  as  the  right  of  gathering  fire  wood,  cutting 
turf,  and  pasturing  cattle  on  the  common.  These  common 
interests  compelled  a  certain  amount  of  united  action  and 
gave  a  certain  organic  character  to  rural  life.  Every  mem- 
ber of  a  rural  community  realized  that  he  had  a  definite 
status  in  the  community,  that  the  community  could  com- 
mand his  services  in  a  considerable  number  of  details,  and 
that  he  in  turn  possessed  certain  rights  to  the  common  utilities 
of  the  place. 

In  the  New  World,  particularly  in  New  England,  the 
methods  of  founding  settlements  generally  promoted  an 
organized  'rural  life.  Sometimes  the  minister  of  a  church 
gathered  a  congregation  about  him,  led  them  out  into  the 
wilderness,  and  planted  them  on  the  soil  with  the  church  as 
the  center  of  the  community  life.  Even  where  this  particular 
type  of  "swarming"  was  not  followed,  the  grant  of  land  was 
commonly  made,  not  directly  to  an  individual,  but  to  a  town 
or  township,  and  the  individual  in  turn  got  his  grant  from  the 
township.  The  management  of  the  common  lands  was  a 
perennial  problem  calling  for  the  effective  organization  of  all 
the  citizens  of  the  township.  The  townships  became,  there- 
fore, the  units  of  local  government.  Being  a  small  and 
effective  unit,  and  having  certain  definite  problems  of  an 
economic  nature  forced  upon  it,  the  township  easily  under- 
took other  tasks  of  a  voluntary  nature,  such  as  drainage 
operations,  the  branding  of  live  stock,  the  appointment  of 
herdsmen  to  guard  all  the  cattle  of  the  town,,  the  public 
ownership  off  bulls,  the  fencing  of  the  common  lands,  the 
construction  of  roads,  etc. 

27306°— ybk  1913 16 

242  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

Not  only  in  New  England,  but  everywhere  on  the  frontier, 
there  were  common  overwhelming  zieeds,  such  as  common 
defense,  the  clearing  of  the  forest,  the  erection  of  buildings, 
and  other  tasks  demanding  the  united  strength  of  the  whole 
community,  whieh  forced  the  people  into  a  kind  of  coopera- 
tion. After  the  passing  of  the  frontier  days  there  remained 
such  common  local  interests  as  the  local  school,  the  care  of 
the  roads,  and  the  maintenance  of  the  cemetery,  to  bring 
the  people  together  around  a  common  interest  and  give  the 
neighborhood  at  least  the  germ  of  an  organization. 

Under  the  public-land  policy  of  the  Federal  Government, 
however,  particularly  under  the  preemption  and  homestead 
laws,  an  extremely  individualistic  method  of  settlement  was 
promoted.  This  doubtless  served  important  public  purposes, 
but  it  tended  to  promote  disorganization  rather  than  organi- 
zation. Lately  the  tendency  has  been  to  take  the  roads 
and  schools  out  of  the  hands  of  local  units  and  put  them 
directly  under  county  and  State  administration.  Doubtless 
a  higher  administrative  efficiency  is  secured  by  this  change, 
but  it  tends  to  remove  the  last  vestiges  of  the  old  basis  of 
rural  organization.  It  is  doubtless  to  be  desired  that  this 
centralizing  process  should  go  on  until  the  entire  school  system 
of  a  State  is  administered  as  a  unit  and  every  country  child  is 
provided  with  as  good  a  school  as  any  city  child.  At  the  same 
time  it  will  be  necessary  to  find  a  new  basis  of  organization 
to  ta*ke  the  place  of  the  old  bases  which  have  been  swept  away. 


Efforts  have  not  been  wanting  in  this  direction.  Begin- 
ning with  the  granger  movement  of  the  late  sixties  and  the 
early  seventies  of  the  last  century,  the  country  has  witnessed 
a  series  of  movements,  some  ephemeral  and  some  lasting, 
until  at  the  present  time  we  have  the  National  Grange,  which 
is  the  dominant  agricultural  organization  in  the  northeastern 
section  of  the  country;  the  Farmers'  Educational  and  Co- 
operative Union,  which  is  very  strong  in  the  South;  the 
Gleaners,  who  are  particularly  strong  in  Michigan  and  parts 
of  adjoining  States;  and  the  American  Society  of  Equity, 
which  is  strong  in  the  entire  Northwest,  besides  many  smaller 
organizations.  These  various  movements  toward  an  effect- 
ive organization  of  rural  interests  have  been  very  uneven  in 
their  results,  with  many  conspicuous  failures  as  well  as 
successes.     It  is  doubtful  if  any  one  of  them  has  yet  demon- 

The  Organisation  of  Rural  Interests.  243 

strated  that  it  lias  found  the  key  to  universal  success  in  this 
direction.  There  is  need,  in  the  interest  both  of  these  exist- 
ing organizations  and  of  the  multitudes  of  farmers  not  yet 
affiliated  with  any  organization,  that  a  permanent  body  of 
some  kind  should  begin  a  comprehensive  study  of  the  whole 
problem  of  organizing  rural  lite  for  economic,  sanitary,  edu- 
cational, and  social  purposes.  Even  if  such  a  body  should 
do  no  more  than  keep  a  permanent  record  of  the  successes 
and  failures  among  farmers'  organizations,  it  would  even- 
tually become  of  incalculable  value  as  s  guide  for  future 
organizers.  But  if,  in  addition  to  such  a  record,  this  body 
could  formulate  principles  of  organization,  and  give  perma- 
nency and  consistency  to  the  efforts  of  active  field  organizers, 
its  work  would  be  of  much  greater  value. 

Aside  from  these  fraternal  and  social  organizations  among 
farmers,  there  have  been  vast  numbers  of  organizations  to 
promote  special  agricultural  interests.  The  States  of  the 
upper  Mississippi  Valley  are  honeycombed  with  farmers' 
mutual  insurance  companies.  These  have  had  a  longer 
history  of  uniform  success  than  any  other  type  of  business 
organization  among  our  farmers.  The  accompanying  table 
shows  the  number  of  such  companies  in  States  which  publish 
official  lists.  There  are  farmers'  mutual  insurance  compa- 
nies in  other  States  which  report  that  they  publish  no  official 
lists,  and  these  States  are  necessarily  omitted  from  the  table. 
(See  fig.  16  and  16  a.) 

Farmers'  mutual  insurance  companies. 

Arkansas 7 

California 18 

New  Hampshire 19 

New  Jersey 23 

New  York 163 

NorthDakota 33 

Ohio 102 

Oklahoma 1 

Oregon 3 

Pennsylvania 237 

Indiana 76  '  Rhode  Island 1 

Iowa 176  j  South  Carolina 19 

South  Dakota 33 

Tennessee 17 

Texas 25 

Colorado 5 

Connecticut 14 

Delaware 8 

Georgia 7 

Idaho -. 5 

Illinois 230 


Kentucky 25 

Maine 54 

Maryland 17 

Michigan 77 

Minnesota 150 

Montana i 7 

Nebraska 66 

Washington 6 

West  Virginia 11 

Wisconsin 203 

Total 1,867 


Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

The  organization  of  farmers'  mutual  telephone  companies 
has  had  a  phenomenal  development  in  the  last  two  decades. 
As  an  agency  for  bringing  farms  into  closer  contact  with  one 

Fig.  13.— Cooperative  creameries  in  the  United  States.    Small  dot=  1  creamery;  large  dot- 

10  creameries. 



California . . . 


Connecticut . 











Massachusetts . 






Michigan 105 

Minnesota 632 







New  Hampshire 


another  and  creating  thus  a  basis  for  further  organization, 
the  importance  of  a  rural  telephone  system  can  scarcely  be 
overstated,  especially  when  it  is  established  and  managed 
by  the  farmers  themselves. 

The  Organization  of  Rural  Interests. 


Cooperative  creameries,  cheese  factories,  and  elevators, 
according  to  our  latest  reports,  are  distributed  through  the 
middle  Northwest  as  indicated  in  figures  13, 13  A,  14, 14  a,  15, 

Fig.  13a.— Cooperative  creameries  in  the  United  States.    Small  dot— 1  creamery ;  large  dot= 

10  creameries. 


South  Carolina 







....      355 












and  15  a.  The  question  is  often  raised  as  to  whether  these 
are  all  strictly  cooperative.  Undoubtedly  many  of  them  are, 
in  form  at  least,  merely  joint  stock  companies,  and  it  may  be 
claimed   that  such  companies   are  not  cooperative  in  the 


Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

strict  technical  sense.  Such  a  claim,  however,  is  based 
upon  the  letter  rather  than  the  spirit  of  the  enterprise. 
Any  organization  of  this  kind  may  be  said  to  be  cooperative 

Pig.  14.— Cooperative  cheese  factories  in  the  United  States.    Small  dot- 1  cheese  factory; 
large  dot=  10  cheese  factories. 

California 3  I  Michigan 4  I  Missouri 2 

Illinois 2     Minnesota 15     New  York 34 

Indiana 1  I  | 

in  spirit  when  it  is  managed  exclusively  with  a  view  to 
giving  the  farmer  a  better  price  for  his  butterf at  or  his  grain, 
and  not  at  all  for  the  purpose  of  securing  dividends  on  the 

The  Organization  of  Rural  Interests. 


stock.  If  the  stock  is  owned  by  farmers  and  if  each  share 
of  stock  is  in  practice  limited  to  a  normal  rate  of  interest 
and  all  surplus  earnings  go  to  the  farmers  in  the  form  of 

Fig.  14a.— Cooperative  cheese  factories  in  the  United  States.    Small  dot-1  cheese  factory; 
large  dot=10  cheese  factories. 




South  Dakota. 



Wisconsin. . . 





better  prices,  the  enterprise  is  cooperative  in  spirit,  even 
though  its  form  be  that  of  the  ordinary  profit-making 

248  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

However,  it  must  in  frankness  be  admitted  that  there 
is  always  danger,  under  the  joint  stock  form  of  organization, 
that  the  cooperative  spirit  will  be  destroyed  and  the  organiza- 
tion shifted  to  the  profit-making  purpose.     In  a  creamery, 

Fig.  15. — Farmers'  cooperative  elevators  in  the  United  States.    Small  dot=l  elevator;  large 

dot=  10  elevators. 






















for  example,  if  one  man  owns  a  large  number  of  shares 
and  very  few  cows,  or  none  at  all,  he  will  naturally  be  more 
interested  in  dividends  than  in  the  price  of  butterfat.  If  a 
majority  of  the  shares  are  owned  by  such  men,  the  company 

The  Organization  of  Rural  Interests. 


is  almost  certain  to  be  managed  in  the  interest  of  dividends 
rather  than  in  the  interest  of  the  price  of  butterfat.  It  is 
therefore  highly  desirable  that  the  form  of  organization  be 
such  as  to  prevent  this  result  and  insure  that  the  manage- 

FlG.  16A.— Farmers'  cooperative  elevators  in  the  United  States.    Small  dot=l  elevator;  large 

dot=  10  elevators. 

Nebraska 224 

NorthDakota 320 

Ohio 23 

Oklahoma 36 

Oregon 3 

South  Dakota 220 

Texas 4 

Washington 18 



Total 2,020 

ment  shall  always  be  in  the  interest  of  the  producers.     Never- 
theless, so  long  as  the  management  is  in  the  interest  of 
the  producer,  it  is  reasonable  to  list  such  an  organization 
as  cooperative. 


Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

A  multitude  of  cow-testing  associations,  breeders'  associa- 
tions of  various  kinds,  purchasing  associations  for  securing 

Fig.  16.— Farmers'  mutual  insurance  companies  in  the  United  States.    Small  dot=  1  company; 
large  dot— 10  companies. 

Maine 54 

Maryland 17 

Michigan 77 

Minnesota 150 

Montana 7 

Nebraska 66 




















better  prices  on  fertilizers,  seed,  and  feed  stuffs,  and  coopera- 
tive stores  dealing  in  general  merchandise  dot  the  entire 

The  Organization  of  Rural  Interests. 


The  large  farmers'  organizations,  such  as  the  Grange,  the 
Farmers'  Union,  the  American  Society  of  Equity,  and  the 

Fig.  16a. — Farmers'  mutual  insurance  companies  in  the  United  States.    Small  dot=l  com- 
pany; large  dot— 10  companies. 

New  Hampshire. . 

New  Jersey 

New  York 

North  Dakota 






Oregon 3 

1'ennsylvania 237 

Rhode  Island 1 

South  Carolina 19 

South  Dakota 33 

Tennessee 17 

Texas 25 

Washington 6 

West  Virginia 11 

Wisconsin 203 

Total 1,867 

Gleaners,  are  also,  in  many  localities,  transacting  business 
for  the  individual  farmer.  Cooperative  warehouses,  under 
the  Farmers'  Union,  are  doing  business  aggregating  tens  of 
millions  of  dollars  annually. 

252  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 


It  is  not  too  much  to  suggest  again  that  it  is  of  the  utmost 
importance  that  all  these  scattered  movements  should  be 
brought  together  and  the  work  systematized  in  order  that 
the  number  of  failures  may  be  diminished  and  the  number 
of  successes  be  increased.  It  is  doubtful  if  any  single  agency 
can  do  this  satisfactorily,  but  the  Rural  Organization  Serv- 
ice of  the  Department  of  Agriculture  may  easily  become  one 
of  the  most  effective  agencies  for  bringing  about  this  result. 


One  of  the  first  tasks  of  such  an  agency  must  be  to  for- 
mulate the  general  principles  which  must  control  all  success- 
ful organizations,  and  also  to  find  a  satisfactory  basis  upon 
which  to  build  a  comprehensive  organization  of  rural  life  to 
take  the  place  of  the  old  basis  that  has  been  swept  away  by 
general  reorganization  of  the  economic  world.  During  this 
age  of  mechanical  inventions  it  will  never  again  be  possible 
to  build  a  rural  community  on  the  self-sufficing  basis  on 
which  the  farmers  produce  for  their  own  local  market  and 
get  the  most  of  their  supplies  from  the  local  handicrafts. 
Each  farming  community  is  a  part  of  a  world  market  and 
the  bulk  of  its  produce  must  be  shipped  out  and  the  bulk 
of  its  articles  of  consumption  shipped  in.  This  must  be 
taken  as  a  fundamental  fact  in  all  schemes  for  a  new  rural 
organization.  Therefore  it  would  seem  that  the  reason  for 
the  existence  of  a  rural  organization  must  be  found,  in  part 
at  least,  in  the  necessity  for  the  successful  marketing  of 
products  on  the  one  hand  and  the  successful  purchasing  of 
supplies  on  the  other. 


Another  large  and  fundamental  fact  in  the  modern  eco- 
nomic world,  also  growing  out  of  the  mechanical  inventions 
which  characterize  it,  is  the  demand  for  increased  capital 
in  all  successful  agricultural  enterprises.  In  an  age  when 
farming  was  done  with  a  few  simple  tools,  the  most  of  which 
could  be  made  by  the  farmer  himself  during  his  spare  time, 
the  demand  for  capital  could  be  ignored.  But  at  the  present 
time  one  of  the  paramount  needs  of  agriculture  is  an  adequate 
supply  of  expensive   tools   or  capital.     In  order  that   the 

The  Organization  of  Rural  Interests.  253 

average  farmer  may  properly  equip  himself,  it  is  necessary 
that  he  be  put  in  possession  of  purchasing  power.  This  can 
only  be  secured  through  his  own  savings  or  through  the 
savings  of  others  from  whom  he  can  borrow.  This  means 
the  development  of  credit  facilities. 


In  an  age  when  sickness  was  regarded  as  a  visitation  of 
Providence  from  which  there  was  no  reasonable  means  of 
escape,  the  problem  of  sanitation  was  unknown.  Such  a 
thing  as  an  organization  for  rural  sanitation  would  have  been 
unthinkable,  for  the  reason  that,  knowing  little  or  nothing 
about  the  sources  of  disease,  such  an  organization  would  not 
have  known  what  to  do  with  itself.  But  now  that  medical 
science  has  put  us  into  possession  of  certain  large  and  definite 
facts  regarding  the  prevention  of  some  of  the  more  common 
diseases,  the  problem  of  protecting  the  health  of  rural  com- 
munities is  becoming  practical.  We  are  in  a  position  to 
combat  certain  diseases  if  we  are  ready  to  go  about  it  in  the 
right  way.  Our  great  lack  now  is  not  so  much  the  lack  of 
knowledge  as  the  lack  of  organization  for  applying  our 
knowledge.  It  is  quite  as  possible  for  us  to  exterminate 
certain  disease  germs  as  it  was  for  our  ancestors  to  exter- 
minate the  wolves  and  bears  which  preyed  upon  them  and 
their  flocks.  When  we  awaken  to  the  situation  we  shall  find 
here  an  overwhelming  need  as  great  as  that  which  existed 
on  the  frontier  to  force  us  into  an  organization  for  the  pro- 
tection of  country  life. 

Thus  the  organization  of  the  community  so  as  to  function 
more  effectively  in  the  world  market  may  furnish  a  sub- 
stitute for  the  local  self-sufficing  market  of  an  earlier  period ; 
the  organization  of  the  community  may  supply  the  need  for 
capital,  which  was  an  unknown  need  before  the  age  of 
machinery,  and  organization  for  the  purpose  of  fighting  the 
invisible  enemies  known  as  disease  germs  may  take  the 
place  of  the  older  organizations  to  fight  the  visible  enemies 
of  the  frontier. 


It  will  occur  at  once  to  any  thoughtful  student  that  the 
first  task  in  the  general  reorganization  of  country  life  must 
be  to  learn  the  facts  as  they  exist  at  the  present  time.  This 
necessitates  a  better  survey  of  the  entire  field  of  American 

254  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

country  life  for  the  purpose  of  finding  out  what  types  of 
organization  are  now  succeeding,  and  why;  and  what  types 
have  failed  and  are  failing,  and  why;  what  special  needs 
exist  for  which  there  are  no  effective  organizations,  and 
where  these  needs  are  greatest.  A  preliminary  study  of 
credit  conditions  has  already  shown  that  the  farmers  of 
different  sections  of  the  country  are  very  unevenly  provided 
with  credit  facilities,  some  sections  having  excellent,  others 
very  poor  ones.  The  reasons  for  this  variation  need  to  be 
carefully  studied  before  any  satisfactory  solution  can  be 
suggested.  Until  such  a  survey  can  be  completed,  not  only 
with  respect  to  rural  credits,  but  also  with  respect  to  farmers' 
organizations  of  all  kinds,  very  little  advice  can  be  given 
except  in  the  most  general  terms. 


The  following  suggestions  are  made  as  a  general  guide  for 
organizers  in  different  fields  of  endeavor: 


There  is  no  magic  about  cooperation.  If,  as  the  result  of 
cooperation,  farmers  are  led  to  improve  their  business  meth- 
ods, it  will  succeed;  otherwise  it  will  fail.  These  improve- 
ments in  their  business  methods  should  include  the  following 

(1)  Accounting  and  bookkeeping.  No  cooperative  organ- 
ization of  any  kind  can  hope  to  succeed,  nor  would  it  deserve 
to  succeed,  unless  it  kept  its  books  accurately  and  completely. 
Correct  accounting  is  the  key  to  all  successful  administra- 
tion, public  or  private,  cooperative  or  individualistic. 

(2)  Auditing.  No  one  with  any  feeling  of  responsibility 
will  undertake  to  advise  a  cooperative  society  or  stand  in 
any  way  responsible  for  its  affairs,  unless  that  society  will 
submit  its  books  annually  for  a  thorough  auditing  by  a  com- 
petent and  reliable  auditing  company. 

(3)  Motive.  It  must  be  prompted  by  a  constructive 
desire  for  well-understood  economies  and  not  by  rancor,  or 
jealousy,  or  covetousness,  or  any  other  destructive  sentiment. 
One  of  the  most  frequent  causes  of  failure  in  cooperative 
enterprises  is  the  fact  that  the  whole  enterprise  was  started 
out  of  something  very  closely  resembling  spite,  or  the  fear 
that  somebody  might  be  making  something  in  the  way  of 

The  Organization  of  Rural  Interests.  255 

profit.  If  a  storekeeper  or  anyone  else  is  making  a  profit  by 
reason  of  the  efficiency  with  which  he  runs  his  business  or 
serves  his  customers,  he  is  entitled  to  it,  and  any  coopera- 
tive society  which  is  started  merely  for  the  purpose  of  keep- 
ing him  from  making  that  profit  is  doomed  to  fail.  If,  how- 
ever, there  are  clearly  perceived  wastes  occurring,  due  to 
inefficiency,  bad  management,  or  the  taking  of  excessive 
profits,  and  a  cooperative  society  is  formed  for  the  construc- 
tive purpose  of  eliminating  those  wastes  through  better  man- 
agement, the  society  will  have  the  first  requisite  of  success, 
namely,  the  fact  that  it  deserves  to  succeed. 


The  general  subject  of  marketing  is  provided  for  under  the 
capable  management  of  the  Office  of  Markets  of  the  Depart- 
ment of  Agriculture.  Inasmuch,  however,  as  the  subject  of 
organization  is  very  closely  associated  with  the  subject  of 
markets,  and  the  Kural  Organization  Service  and  the  Office 
of  Markets  are  working  in  the  closest  cooperation,  it  is  not 
out  of  place  to  suggest  here  a  few  of  the  main  conditions 
of  successful  marketing.     They  are: 

(1)  The  improvement  of  the  product.  This  ought  to  be 
one  of  the  first  results  of  cooperation.  A  group  of  farmers, 
all  interested  in  growing  the  same  product,  by  meeting  fre- 
quently and  discussing  the  problems  connected  with  the 
growing  of  that  product,  will  normally  educate  one  another 
and  thus  improve  their  methods  of  production. 

(2)  The  standardization  of  the  product  through  organized 
production.  Standardization  follows  naturally  and  easily 
if  the  cooperators  are  wise  enough  to  see  its  importance.  Not 
only  must  the  product  be  a  good  product,  but  it  must  be 
graded  according  to  the  tastes  or  desires  of  the  consumers  or 
ultimate  purchasers.  If  the  producers  insist  on  throwing 
an  unstandardized,  nondescript  product  upon  the  market, 
the  consumers,  each  one  of  whom  wants  a  small  and  simple 
parcel,  and  wants  that  to  be  of  a  certain  kind  and  quality, 
will  never  buy  of  the  producers.  Some  one,  then,  must  inter- 
vene to  do  the  grading  and  standardizing.  But  if  the  pro- 
ducers will  grade  their  products  and  pack  them  the  way  the 
consumers  want  them,  they  will  be  able  either  to  sell  directly 
to  the  consumer  or  so  to  reduce  the  toll  charged  by  the  mid- 
dleman as  to  enlarge  their  own  profits. 

256  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

(3)  Branding.  An  excellent  product,  graded  and  stand- 
ardized, must  then  be  so  branded  or  trade-marked  as  to 
enable  the  consumer  to  identify  it  or  to  recognize  it  when  he 
sees  it.  That  is  really  all  there  is  to  the  stamp  on  a  coin. 
It  adds  nothing  to  the  intrinsic  value  of  the  metal,  but  it 
makes  it  circulate.  Without  such  a  stamp,  each  individual 
would  have  to  weigh  and  test  a  piece  of  metal  which  was 
offered  him,  and  the  circulation  or  salability  of  the  metal 
would  be  greatly  restricted;  but  a  stamp  upon  it,  which 
the  average  receiver  recognizes  at  once  and  in  which  he  has 
confidence,  makes  him  instantly  willing  to  accept  it.  This 
may  be  an  extreme  case,  but  it  does  not  differ  in  principle 
from  the  stamping  of  any  other  salable  piece  of  material. 
A  private  stamp  is  quite  as  good  as  a  Government  stamp  if 
people  have  as  much  confidence  in  it  as  they  have  in  a  Gov- 
ernment stamp  and  if  it  is  as  reliable  and  as  uniform.  Pri- 
vate coins  have  circulated  many  times  in  the  past.  However, 
without  taking  such  an  extreme  case  as  the  coinage  of  metal 
except  by  way  of  illustration,  it  will  not  take  much  argument 
to  convince  the  average  person  that  if  a  box  of  apples  bearing 
a  certain  stamp  or  trade-mark  gets  to  be  known  as  reliable 
and  good  all  the  way  through,  the  producer  or  the  producing 
association  whose  stamp  has  thus  gained  confidence  will  be 
able  to  sell  where  unstamped  products  equally  good  will  fail 

(4)  Education  of  the  consumer.  The  consumer  must  be 
educated  as  to  the  meaning  of  a  stamp  or  trade-mark  on 
goods  which  are  excellent  in  themselves  and  uniform  in 

Let  these  four  things  be  done  and  the  problem  of  marketing 
will  become  fairly  simple.  But  it  must  be  remembered  that 
these  four  things  can  be  done  only  by  organization. 


Much  complaint  is  heard  from  farmers  and  farmers'  asso- 
ciations regarding  the  unwillingness  of  manufacturers  to 
sell  directly  to  them  and  ehminate  agents'  profits.  There 
is  doubtless  some  ground  for  this  complaint,  in  many  cases 
at  least.  Where  this  unwillingness  is  arbitrary  and  without 
reason,  the  farmers,  through  their  organizations,  must  try 
by  every  legitimate  means,  both  legislative  and  nonlegisla- 
tive,  to  overcome  it.     But  he  is  no  friend  to  the  farmer  who 

The  Organization  of  Rural  Interests.  257 

does  not  tell  him  the  disagreeable  truth  that  he  is  himself 
sometimes  to  blame  for  this  situation.  Not  being  trained 
in  commercial  practices,  the  farmer,  or  the  farmers'  organi- 
zation, is  sometimes  unprepared  to  handle  the  business  of 
buying  in  a  businesslike  way.  The  manufacturer  will  then 
prefer  to  sell  through  an  agent  or  a  regular  dealer  who  is 
accustomed  to  handling  business  promptly  and  who  does 
not  need  to  be  shown  how.  Again,  farmers'  organizations 
are  not  always  prompt  in  paying  bills.  Where  this  is  the 
case  the  manufacturer  can  not  be  blamed  for  preferring  to 
sell  through  a  regular  dealer  in  whom  he  has  confidence. 
Another  and  more  serious  complaint  on  the  part  of  the  manu- 
facturer is  that  farmers'  organizations  frequently  lack  a 
keen  sense  of  business  obligation.  They  will  order  a  carload 
of  goods,  for  example,  at  a  given  price.  Before  the  goods 
can  be  delivered,  someone  else  offers  to  supply  the  farmer 
at  a  slightly  lower  price.  In  spite  of  the  fact  that  their 
previous  order  is  a  virtual  contract,  they  take  the  lower  bid 
and  refuse  to  take  the  goods  delivered  on  the  previous  order 
when  they  arrive.  Naturally  this  does  not  please  the  manu- 
facturer who  filled  the  order  in  good  faith.  He  can  not  be 
blamed  for  being  unwilling  to  fill  similar  orders  thereafter. 
Possibly  he  ought  to  discriminate  between  such  irrespon- 
sible farmers'  organizations  as  this  and  others  which  have  a 
true  sense  of  business  responsibility;  but  all  men  are  prone 
to  generalize.  The  way  to  cure  this  situation  is  for  farmers 
who  have  business  training  and  a  sense  of  business  respon- 
sibility to  lend  then?  aid  in  eliminating  irresponsible  organi- 
zations from  the  field.  Otherwise  they  will  suffer  from  the 
company  they  keep. 


There  is  no  mystery  about  credit.  It  is  simply  a  means 
by  which  the  possessor  of  purchasing  power,  which  he  does 
not  care  to  use  at  once,  is  enabled  to  transier  that  pur- 
chasing power  to  some  one  who  does  not  possess  it  but  who 
needs  it  at  once  in  his  business.  Again,  the  possession  of 
credit  on  the  part  of  the  farmer  does  not  insure  his  success. 
When  wisely  used,  credit  is  a  powerful  agency  for  good:  so 
is  dynamite.  When  unwisely  used,  or  handled  by  one  who 
does  not  understand  it,  it  is  dangerous:  so  is  dynamite. 

27306°— YBK  1913 17 

258  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

Speaking  by  and  large  of  facts  as  they  actually  are  at  the 
present  moment,  it  is  probable  that  as  many  farmers  are 
suffering  because  they  have  too  much  credit  as  because 
their  credit  opportunities  are  too  limited.  To  be  able  to 
borrow  a  thousand  dollars  even  at  the  lowest  possible  rate 
of  interest,  say  2  per  cent,  is  a  loss  to  a  man  who  invests 
it  in  a  way  to  only  bring  back  $1,001.  The  only  possiblo 
advantage  of  having  credit  is  to  have  an  investment  which 
is  reasonably  certain  to  return  not  only  the '  principal  but 
the  interest  and  a  little  more  besides. 

Much  has  been  said  about  the  cooperative  credit  organi- 
zations of  other  countries.  One  fact  which  has  never  been 
sufficiently  emphasized,  and  which  can  not  be  too  much 
emphasized,  is  that  these  cooperative  credit  societies  refuse 
credit  quite  as  often  as  they  give  it,  and  they  refuse  credit 
not  simply  on  the  ground  that  the  would-be  borrower  has 
no  security  to  give,  but  equally  on  the  ground  that  they 
do  not  think  it  would  pay  him  to  borrow.  That  is,  he  has 
no  investment  which,  in  the  opinion  of  the  directors,  will 
be  profitable  to  him.  If  his  investment  is  unprofitable,  the 
chances  are  that  he  will  be  unable  to  pay  back  a  loan,  and 
thus  it  would  be  unsafe.  And,  what  is.  more  important, 
even  if  he  were  able  to  pay  it  back,  he  would  be  poorer 
instead  of  richer  by  reason  of  the  loan.  The  fact  that  the 
directors  of  one  of  these  cooperative  banks  have  to  discuss 
the  purpose  for  which  the  borrower  wishes  to  borrow,  and 
to  decide  whether  or  not  it  will  probably  turn  out  to  be  a 
good  investment  for  the  borrower,  not  only  protects  the 
borrower  against  himself  but  educates  all  the  members  of 
the  society.  That  is  to  say,  it  compels  them  to  discuss  very 
carefully  the  probable  results  of  all  the  classes  of  small 
investments,  and  this  discussion  itself  is  one  of  the  most 
valuable  kinds  of  business  education. 


By  W.  P.  Ward, 

Senior  Animal  Husbandman  in  Beef  Cattle  Investigations,  Animal  Husbandry 
Division,  Bureau  of  Animal  Industry. 


IN  the  United  States  three  decades  ago  the  beef  industry 
was  growing  very  rapidly.  The  western  country  was  used 
as  free  range  and  enormous  herds  of  cattle  were  springing  up 
all  over  the  West.  Then,  too,  the  States  which  now  com- 
prise the  corn  belt  were  grazmg  many  cattle.  The  business 
expanded  and  flourished  untd  the  early  nineties,  when  prices 
began  to  drop  and  the  industry  to  decrease  until  many  of  the 
large  ranches  of  the  West  were  broken  up.  The  period  from 
1892  to  1900  was  a  hard  one  for  the  cattlemen,  and  cattle 
other  than  milch  cows  decreased  10,040,000  head. 

When  the  prices  of  cattle  fell  so  low  during  the  period  of 
1893-1896  many  of  the  farmers  through  the  Middle  West  be- 
gan to  reduce  the  size  of  their  herds.  Wheat  and  corn  became 
the  staple  crops,  and  they  were  given  far  more  attention  than 
were  cattle.  The  price  of  land  throughout  this  section  began 
to  increase  very  rapidly  and  as  a  consequence  the  herds  of 
cattle  on  much  of  it  diminished  in  size.  With  the  advance 
of  land  values  immigrants  kept  pushing  farther  west,  and 
the  settlers,  homesteaders,  and  sheepmen  began  crowding  the 
cattlemen  farther  from  the  good  grazing  lands  to  the  less 
desirable  sections. 

The  production  of  beef  was  discouraged  and  retarded  not 
only  by  the  low  prices  and  the  decrease  of  breeding  stock, 
but  also  by  the  cutting  up  of  the  ranges,  the  increased  value 
of  farm  lands,  and  the  prevailing  prices  paid  for  grain.  The 
price  of  cattle  did  not  keep  pace  with  the  price  of  other 


With  the  population  increasing  steadily  and  the  amount 
of  beef  consumed  per  capita  keeping  about  in  proportion, 
there  could  but  follow  a  period  ot  shortage  of  beef  cattle. 
This  was  predicted  by  many  farsighted  men  who  made  a 
study  of  conditions  affecting  the  supply  of  beef.     However, 


260  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

statements  made  to  that  effect  were  not  taken  seriously  by 
the  public  until  the  last  three  or  four  years. 

The  census  of  1900  shows  that  there  were  on  farms  and 
ranches  50,583,777  cattle  other  than  cows  kept  for  milk,  while 
the  census  of  1910  shows  this  number  to  have  decreased  to 
41,198,434  head.  This  was  a  decrease  of  9,385,343  head, 
or  18.5  per  cent,  of  all  cattle  other  than  milch  cows.  The 
number  of  cows  increased  4  per  cent,  but  the  number  of 
steers  and  bulls  decreased  21.1  per  cent,  and  the  calves 
decreased  49  per  cent,  or  7J  million  head,  during  this  period. 

The  census  of  1900  was  taken  June  1,  while  that  of  1910 
was  taken  April  15,  or  six  weeks  earlier.  A  portion  of  the 
large  decrease  in  calves  can  be  attributed  to  this  difference 
in  the  time  the  two  censuses  were  taken,  but  with  the  other 
animals  there  would  have  been  a  greater  decrease  had  the 
1910  census  been  taken  June  1,  due  to  the  cattle  that  would 
have  been  slaughtered  during  this  period  of  six  weeks. 

During  the  decade  1900-1910  the  population  of  the  United 
States  increased  21  per  cent.  It  is  safe  to  say  that  the 
amount  of  meat  consumed  per  capita  remained  almost  the 
same.  It  is  then  seen  that  with  an  increase  of  21  per  cent 
in  the  demand  for  beef  in  the  United  States  and  with  a 
decrease  of  18.5  per  cent  of  the  cattle  available  for  slaughter 
purposes,  a  decline  in  the  exports  of  beef  was  inevitable. 
This  decrease  actually  took  place  and  the  amount  of  beef 
exported  from  the  United  States,  both  alive  and  as  dressed, 
pickled,  and  canned,  amounted  to  but  2.45  pounds  per 
capita  in  1910,  while  the  amount  exported  in  1900  was  9.37 
pounds.  In  other  words,  there  was  a  decrease  of  practically 
7  pounds  of  beef  per  capita  exported  during  the  decade 
1900-1910  because  of  the  increased  home  demand. 

If  the  population  increases  in  the  decade  1910-1920  in 
the  same  ratio  as  in  the  previous  decade,  and  beef  cattle  do 
not  increase  in  numbers  during  the  same  period,  there  must 
be  a  greater  shortage  of  beef  than  at  the  present  time.  In 
fact,  since  1910  the  export  trade  has  decreased  until  during 
1912  there  was  but  1£  pounds  of  beef  per  capita  exported 
from  the  United  States.  The  amount  of  beef  exported  as  live 
animals  and  fresh,  canned,  and  pickled  beef  during  the  year 
1912  amounted  to  the  equivalent  of  197,475  head  of  cattle, 
while  the   number  imported  was  318,372,  the  majority  of 

Production  of  Beef  in  the  South.  261 

which  came  from  Mexico.  In  other  words,  this  country  has, 
at  least  temporarily,  ceased  producing  as  much  beef  as  is 
demanded  for  home  consumption,  for  the  imports  for  1912 
were  over  one  and  one-half  times  greater  than  the  exports. 
The  receipts  of  sheep  and  hogs  at  the  leading  markets  of 
the  country  for  the  first  half  of  the  year  1913  have  been 
below  the  average,  and  indicate  that  there  is  no  large  sur- 
plus available  for  immediate  slaughter.  The  decrease  in  the 
numbers  of  these  animals  will,  in  a  measure,  prevent  the 
public  from  turning  largely  to  them  as  substitutes  for  beef. 


The  question  of  producing  enough  beef  to  supply  the 
demand  is  now  recognized  as  one  of  world-wide  importance. 
There  is  at  present  a  shortage  over  the  entire  civilized  world. 
Argentina,  which  once  loomed  large  upon  the  horizon  as  a 
rival  of  the  United  States  in  the  supply  of  beef,  proved  to 
have  but  28,766,168  cattle  according  to  the  1911  census,  or 
fewer  cattle  than  were  in  the  country  in  1 908,  when  29, 1 1 6,625 
were  enumerated. 

The  United  Kingdom,  which  formerly  depended  very 
largely  upon  the  United  States  to  furnish  its  imported  beef, 
has  been  forced  to  look  to  Australia,  Argentina,  and  Canada 
to  supply  this  commodity.  At  the  present  time  Great 
Britain  is  consuming  practically  all  of  the  surplus  output 
from  these  countries  and  any  additional  surplus  produced 
will  be  readily  absorbed  by  other  European  countries.  The 
probability  of  the  United  States  importing  much  beef  from 
these  countries  in  the  next  few  years  is,  therefore,  doubtful. 
Imported  beef  must  come  from  Mexico  and  Canada,  and  the 
amount  which  m~y  be  contributed  annually  from  these  coun- 
tries will  probably  not  greatly  exceed  the  present  imports 
for  several  years.  The  number  of  cattle  imported  from 
Canada  will  be  small,  for  there  are  not  many  more  produced 
there  than  are  necessary  for  home  consumption,  and  most  of 
these  are  sent  to  England. 


The  decreased  production  of  beef  cattle  and  the  increased 
home  demand  could  result  in  but  one  thing — higher  prices. 
These  have  followed,  as  shown  in  the  following  table,  which 


Yearbook  of  the  Department  oj  Agriculture. 

presents  the  average  price  of  all  cattle  sold  at  the  leading 
markets  of  the  country  on  March  15  for  the  last  four  years: 

Average  price  per  100  pounds  of  beef  cattle  and  veal  calves  on  leading  markets, 
March  IS,  1913-1910. 


















Veal  is  becoming  more  popular  and  the  consumption  of 
this  commodity  is  increasing  very  rapidly.  This  has  a  tend- 
ency to  lessen  the  supply  of  meat,  for  although  many  of  the 
calves  that  are  used  for  veal  would  never  develop  into  choice 
beef  animals,  there  is  still  a  large  percentage  of  them  which 
would  grow  into  good  beeves,  thereby  increasing  the  avail- 
able supply. 


There  has  been  much  discussion  about  methods  of  increas- 
ing the  supply  of  beef  and  many  remedial  measures  pro- 
posed, among  which  the  one  most  frequently  discussed  is 
the  passing  of  laws  in  all  the  States  making  it  a  crime  to 
slaughter  any  female  cattle  under  3  years  of  age.  This 
is  not  feasible  at  the  present  time,  as  it  would  work  a  hard- 
ship on  many  a  small  farmer  who  could  not  keep  all  of  his 
females  until  3  years  of  age,  and  it  would  be  a  greater  handi- 
cap to  the  dairyman  who  breeds  his  cows  primarily  that  the 
milk  supply  may  be  kept  up  and  not  for  the  value  of  the 
calf  produced.  He  can  feed  a  calf  for  a  few  weeks  and  sell 
it  for  $8  to  $12  for  veal,  which  if  kept  would  not  make  a 
desirable  beef  animal,  nor  one  suitable  for  breeding  pur- 
poses. One  measure  which  has  been  advocated  would  proba- 
bly come  nearer  to  inducing  the  farmer  to  keep  his  female 
calves  than  any  other,  and  that  would  be  to  exempt  all 
female  cattle  from  taxation  for  a  period  of  years.  The  plan 
which  should  be  followed,  however,  should  not  be  to  deprive 
the  public  of  veal,  but  to  stimulate  the  production  of  cattle 
so  that  the  public  demand  may  be  satisfied,  be  it  for  beef 
or  veal. 

There  is  an  urgent  demand  for  more  cattle,  but  where  are 
they  to  come  from?     Not  from  the  corn  belt,  where  the 

Production  of  Beef  in  the  South.  263 

land  is  worth  from  $75  to  $200  per  acre  and  corn  has  advanced 
from  25  to  60  cents  or  more  per  bushel;  not  from  the  ranges 
of  the  West  and  Southwest,  for  the  supply  of  cattle  from 
these  sections  is  decreasing  yearly  and  the  large  ranches  are 
being  cut  up  for  the  homesteaders  and  the  small  farmers, 
who  are  not  giving  their  attention  to  beef  production. 


There  is  one  section  that  can  produce  more  cattle,  and 
produce  them  more  cheaply,  than  any  other  section  of  the 
whole  country,  for  the  lands  are  still  cheap,  the  grazing  is 
good,  the  pasture  season  is  long,  feeds  can  be  produced  at  a 
minimum  cost,  and  inexpensive  shelter  only  is  required. 
That  section  of  the  country  is  the  South. 

While  slavery  existed  in  the  South,  cattle,  hogs,  and  sheep 
were  to  be  found  upon  every  plantation,  and  on  many  of 
them  were  very  good  beef  animals,  some  herds  of  which 
contained  a  large  infusion  of  Shorthorn  blood.  At  this  time 
the  South  produced  all  of  the  beef,  pork,  and  mutton  that  was 
needed  to  supply  her  demands.  At  the  close  of  the  Civil 
War  few  cattle  were  left  and  these  were  bred  among  them- 
selves without  the  addition  of  any  new  blood,  except  occa- 
sionally a  cross  with  the  Jersey,  the  result  of  which  was  a 
class  of  nartive  cattle  which  were  small,  slow  in  growth,  and 
of  very  poor  quality  for  beef.  At  this  time  farmers  were 
discouraged  from  bringing  in  pure-bred  animals  from  the 
North,,  as  a  very  large  proportion  of  them,  sometimes  as 
much  as  85  per  cent,  would  die  the  first  year  from  a  disease 
known  as  "murrain,"  or  "bloody  murrain,"  the  direct  cause 
of  which  was  at  the  time  unknown.  Nor  could  planters 
afford  then  to  introduce  pure-bred  beef  animals  as  they  had 
formerly  done  while  in  a  prosperous  condition. 

Corn  and  other  grains  had  formed  the  major  portion  of  the 
crops  during  the  early  slavery  times,  but  with  the  improve- 
ment of  the  cotton  gin  an  increased  amount  of  cotton  was 
raised  each  year  until  1861.  After  the  slaves  had  been  freed 
cotton  was  high  in  price  and  it  was  hard  to  get  labor,  as  there 
was  little  money  with  which  help  could  be  hired.  This  con- 
dition made  it  imperative  that  the  southern  farmer  produce 
some  crop  which  could  be  readily  sold  to  buy  clothing  and 
other  necessities.  It  was  then  that  men  who  had  money  or 
could  borrow  money  in  the  North  began  advancing,  or  selling 

264  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

on  credit,  rations,  feedstuffs,  and  clothing  to  farmers  who 
would  produce  cotton  and  give  the  advancing  merchant  a 
mortgage  on  his  crop.  As  the  planter  could  thus  buy  the 
necessities  for  his  negroes  on  credit  before  the  crop  was  made 
and  immediately  after  gathering  it  he  could  convert  it  into 
cash  with  which  to  pay  his  labor,  this  method  became  popular 
and  established  the  one-crop  system  which  has  proven  such 
a  burden  to  the  South  in  late  years.  This  method  of  farm- 
ing caused  some  lands  to  be  planted  in  cotton  for  as  long  as 
30  years  in  succession,  which  depleted  the  soil  to  such  an 
extent  that  live  stock  are  necessary  to  build  up  the  soils  to 
their  former  state  of  fertility. 


The  spread  of  the  Mexican  boll  weevil  over  the  western 
and  the  central  portion  of  the  South  has  caused  many  farmers 
to  abandon  the  one-crop  system  and  begin  diversified  farm- 
ing and  the  rotation  of  their  crops.  Diversified  farming  in 
the  South  means  the  production  of  more  grains,  hays,  and 
other  roughages,  which  leads  up  to  the  production  of  live 
stock  to  consume  them. 

It  is  with  the  idea  of  getting  away  from  the  old  one-crop 
system,  lessening  the  damage  done  by  the  boll  weevil,  increas- 
ing the  fertility  of  the  soil,  doing  away  with  a  large  portion 
of  the  credit  system  with  the  resulting  high  rates  of  interest 
attached  to  it,  and  producing  their  quota  of  meats  in  order 
to  avert  a  greater  shortage  than  at  present  exists,  that  the 
raising  of  five  stock  and  consequently  diversification  of 
farming  is  urged  upon  the  southern  people. 

The  cheapness  of  the  lands  throughout  the  South  makes  it 
possible  to  own  quite  extensive  farms  for  the  production  of 
both  forage  crops  and  pastures  with  a  comparatively  small 
investment  of  capital.  Cheap  lands,  combined  with  cheap 
cows  for  foundation  stock,  enable  one  to  start  in  the  cattle 
business  in  that  section  with  an  outlay  of  far  less  capital 
than  in  most  other  portions  of  the  country. 

Water  and  shade  in  abundance  are  found  throughout  the 
South,  and  the  seasons  are  usually  so  mild  that  expensive 
barns  are  not  needed  for  cattle  as  in  the  North.  The  only 
shelters  needed  for  beef  cattle  in  the  South  are  open  sheds 
facing  the  south,  under  which  young  cattle  may  take  shelter 

Production  of  Beef  in  the  South.  265 

from  cold  rains  or  wind.  The  mature  beef  cattle  need  no 
other  protection  than  that  afforded  by  trees,  hedges,  under- 
growth of  "  switch  "  cane  or  brush,  and  other  natural  shelters. 


Many  of  the  plantations  of  the  South  are  so  large  that 
there  is  much  of  them  which  can  not  be  utilized  for  raising 
crops.  These  lands  should  be  used  for  producing  cattle. 
Other  lands  which  are  at  present  lying  idle  and  upon  which 
taxes  are  being  paid  could  be  easily  converted  into  pastures, 
and  by  the  planting  of  some  of  the  grasses  and  clovers  they 
would  produce  a  pasture  of  such  quality  as  to  give  high 
returns  on  the  valuation  of  the  land  when  grazed  by  cattle. 
(See  PL  XXXVI.) 

Publications  from  the  Census  Bureau  indicate  that  in  the 
South  in  1910,  63.1  per  cent  of  the  total  land  area  was  in 
farms,  of  which  42.5  per  cent  was  improved  farm  lands.  Of 
the  total  land  area  there  was  in  1910  but  26.8  per  cent  which 
was  classed  as  improved  farm  land  to  be  used  for  cultivation, 
etc.  This  means  that  57.5  per  cent  of  the  farm  lands,  or 
73.2  per  cent  of  the  total  land  area,  of  the  South  is  made  up 
of  grazing  land,  woods,  or  waste  lands,  and  a  very  large  por- 
tion of  this  amount  would  produce  excellent  pastures  for 
cattle.  In  1910,  however,  the  whole  South  produced  but 
31.6  per  cent  of  the  cattle  of  the  United  States,  while  the 
North  produced  53.5  per  cent.  This  ratio  of  production 
should  not  hold  true,  for  70.1  per  cent  of  the  farm  land  of  the 
North  was  improved  and  was  chiefly  used  for  cultivation. 

The  types  of  soils  and  the  nature  of  the  land  vary  widely 
in  each  State,  but  in  each  are  found  soils  which  produce 
abundant  grazing.  The  rolling  lands  of  Virginia,  the  Caro- 
linas,  and  Tennessee,  the  hill  lands  of  Georgia,  the  black 
lands  of  Alabama  and  Mississippi,  and  the  alluvial  lands  of 
Mississippi,  Louisiana,  and  Arkansas,  all  produce  luxuriant 
grass  for  about  seven  months  of  the  year.  The  stiffer  soils 
usually  afford  better  grazing  and  produce  fatter  cattle  than 
the  light  or  sandy  soils.  In  some  of  these  States  bluegrass 
does  well;  but  where  it  does  not,  Bermuda  will  grow. 

On  the  lime  soils,  melilotus,  white  clover,  Johnson  grass, 
bur  clover,  lespedeza,  and  other  pasture  plants  will  grow  and 
furnish  ideal  pasture.  If  the  clovers  are  not  present  a  few 
pounds  of  the  seed  should  be  scattered  over  the  land  in  Feb- 

266  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

ruary  after  the  land  has  been  scarified  with  a  disk  harrow. 
After  these  clovers  once  get  a  start,  they  will  reseed  them- 
selves each  year,  unless  grazed  exceedingly  close.  The  grow- 
ing of  these  plants  not  only  increases  the  grazing  capacity  of 
the  pasture,  but  rapidly  improves  the  fertility  of  the  soil. 

Bermuda  grass  is  the  most  important  grass  of  the  South  and 
can  be  easily  started  by  dropping  cuttings  of  the  sod  in  furrows 
6  feet  apart  and  covering  with  a  light  furrow,  or  with  the  foot 
and  tramping  the  dirt  down  firm.  This  should  be  done  early 
in  the  spring,  and  the  grass  will  spread  very  rapidly  during 
the  summer  months.  Bermuda,  lespedeza,  and  bur  clover 
will  grow  well  together  on  any  kind  of  soil  and  make  an  ideal 
combination  for  pasture,  as  the  bur  clover  will  furnish  grazing 
in  February,  March,  and  April,  the  Bermuda  from  April  15 
until  frost,  and  the  lespedeza  from  July  until  October.  This 
combination  of  forage  plants  contains  two  which  add  nitrogen 
to  the  soil.  Most  important  of  all  the  clovers  for  southern 
grazing  is  lespedeza,  spreads  very  rapidly  after  it  gets 
started  and  can  not  be  killed  out  by  grazing.  By  the  use  of 
bur  clover,  melilotus,  and  white  clover  the  pasture  season  can 
be  extended  so  that  at  all  times  of  the  year,  except  when  the 
cattle  would  be  in  the  cotton  or  corn  fields,  they  would  find 
some  kind  of  green  pasture. 

In  eastern  and  southeastern  Texas  the  grasses  are  the  same 
as  those  which  grow  in  the  other  Southern  States.  In  western 
Texas  is  found  the  mesquite  grass,  and  in  some  places  buffalo 
grass  and  grama  grass.  These  give  good  grazing  during  years 
of  normal  rainfall. 


The  amount  of  roughage  grown  in  the  South  is  small  com- 
pared with  that  produced  by  some  of  the  States  of  the  Middle 
West.  Still  there  is  no  section  of  the  country  that  will  grow 
such  a  variety  of  leguminous  hays  and  other  forage  crops  as 
the  South.  Cowpeas,  soy  beans,  and  crimson  clover  will 
grow  luxuriantly  in  any  of  the  Southern  States,  while  alfalfa, 
melilotus,  and  velvet  beans  grow  in  various  sections. 

The  corn-growing  tests  which  have  been  conducted  in 
every  Southern  State  during  the  last  few  years  show  that  corn 
can  be  produced  in  large  amounts  per  acre  and  as  cheap  as  in 
other  States.     The  wide  variation  of  time  during  which  it 

Production  of  Beef  in  the  South.  267 

may  be  planted,  combined  with  its  luxuriant  growth  in  south- 
ern latitudes,  make  it  exceedingly  valuable  as  a  silage  crop. 
A  yield  of  10  to  14  tons  of  silage  per  acre  is  not  at  all  uncom- 
mon on  the  good  lands,  while  the  average  yield  is  about  7. 

There  are  several  other  crops  which  grow  in  the  South  that 
make  excellent  silage,  chief  among  which  are  sorghum,  soy 
beans,  and  cowpeas.  Sorghum  can  be  planted  later  than  corn 
and  often  makes  a  heavier  yield  per  acre.  When  mixed  with 
corn  or  soy  beans  it  makes  excellent  silage.  The  Tennessee 
experiment  station  has  found  that  silage  made  of  soy  beans 
and  corn  is  far  more  valuable  for  feeding  cattle  than  silage 
made  of  corn  alone.1  The  difference  in  feeding  value  was 
great  enough  to  make  it  more  profitable  to  put  up  a  mixed 
silage  than  to  put  corn  alone  into  the  silo.  The  same  station 
found  that  sorghum  silage  could  be  produced  much  cheaper 
than  corn  silage,  and  the  yields  were  practically  the  same  per 

Milo  maize  and  kafir  corn  each  make  a  good  silage  and  are 
very  valuable  in  some  portions  of  the  Southwest,  where  they 
will  make  a  good  yield  of  forage  during  a  season  which  is  so 
dry  that  Indian  corn  would  make  but  little  growth. 

The  principal  hay  crops  of  the  South  are  alfalfa,  Johnson 
grass,  prairie  grass,  cowpea,  soy  bean,  crimson  clover,  and  in 
some  sections  red  clover,  melilotus,  lespedeza,  crab  grass,  and 
Bermuda.  Excellent  yields  of  cowpea  or  sorghum  hay  can 
be  secured  after  one  of  the  small-grain  crops  or  crimson  clover 
has  been  harvested.  Where  lespedeza  grows  rank  enough  to 
cut  for  hay  it  is  especially  valuable,  as  it  can  await  cutting 
from  September  1  to  October  15  without  appreciably  dete- 
riorating in  value,  and  it  cures  very  quickly.  In  addition  to 
the  various  kinds  of  hay,  there  are  several  varieties  of  coarse 
fodders  and  much  rough  straw  produced  which  have  their 
uses  in  live-stock  feeding.  In  the  extreme  South  velvet  beans 
and  Japanese  cane  are  planted  largely  for  forage  purposes. 

In  addition  to  the  various  feeds  which  can  be  grown  upon 
the  farms  for  the  cattle,  there  is  one  which  is  produced  as  a 
by-product  of  the  cotton  industry  which  is  more  valuable 
than  any  other  known  cattle  feed — -cottonseed  meal.  With 
the  enormous  output  of  this  commodity  at  home  the  list  of 
feeds  necessary  to  produce  good  beef  cattle  is  complete. 

1  Results  unpublished.  !  Tennessee  Bulletin  3. 

268  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 


The  Federal  Government  realized  the  importance  of  the 
Southern  States  as  a  field  for  producing  beef  cattle,  and  as 
a  result  began  investigations  in  breeding  and  feeding  cattle 
in  the  South  in  1904,  and  in  1906  began  a  systematic  fight 
on  the  cattle  tick;  for  the  disease  known  as  "murrain,"  or 
"bloody  murrain,"  which  killed  so  many  cattle  that  were 
brought  into  the  South  years  ago,  was  no  other  than  Texas 
fever,  carried  and  distributed  by  the  common  cattle  tick 
(Margaropus  annulatus).  The  losses  of  cattle  brought 
South  were  particularly  heavy,  because  most  of  the  animals 
shipped  in  were  near  maturity,  and  the  disease  is  much  more 
severe  on  mature  than  on  very  young  animals.  The  methods 
of  eradication  used  were  rotation  of  pastures  and  the  dipping 
or  spraying  of  the  animals  with  emulsions  of  crude  oil  and 
kerosene,  or  with  an  arsenical  solution.  At  the  beginning  of 
this  work  there  were  741,515  square  miles  of  infected  territory. 
From  that  time  until  November  1,  1913, 198,802  square  miles 
of  land  have  been  actually  freed  of  the  tick,  and  at  the  pres- 
ent time  the  work  is  being  carried  on  in  every  Southern 
State.  The  work  of  eradication  and  disinfection  has  cost  the 
Federal  Government  less  than  $10  per  square  mile.  As  the 
loss  to  the  South  each  year  caused  by  cattle  ticks  has  been 
estimated  at  $40,000,000,  the  importance  of  the  work  can  be 
realized.  The  work  is  progressing  very  rapidly  in  Okla- 
homa, Arkansas,  Mississippi,  and  Georgia.  On  October  1, 
1913,  the  eradication  work  was  being  carried  on  in  26  coun- 
ties in  Mississippi  and  the  building  of  dipping  vats  and  educa- 
tional work  was  being  conducted  in  15  other  counties.  The 
great  importance  of  this  work  to  the  beef  industry  can  hardly 
be  estimated  without  taking  into  consideration  the  increased 
prices  southern  cattle  will  bring  when  they  can  be  shipped 
above  the  quarantine  line  for  feeding  and  breeding  purposes, 
as  well  as  the  facts  that  cattle  in  a  "  free  "  area  will  grow  much 
faster,  the  loss  from  Texas  fever  will  be  eliminated,  and  the 
farmers  can  readily  bring  in  good  breeding  stock  without 
danger  of  loss. 

That  tick  eradication  is  doing  much  good  may  be  illus- 
trated by  two  farms  which  had  been  infected  with  ticks 
until  two  years  ago  and  had  never  been  able  to  sell  their  calves 
for  more  than  $12  or  $13  per  head.     In  the  fall  of  1912, 

Production  of  Beef  in  the  South.  269 

after  their  premises  had  been  "clean"  for  almost  a  year,  they 
sold  their  entire  bunch  of  heifer  calves  at  $35  per  head  for 
breeders.  These  calves  were  high-grade  Angus  and  were  of  a 
quality  that  would  have  been  a  credit  to  any  farm.  Then, 
too,  fat  steers  from  the  "clean"  area  are  permitted  to  be  sold 
in  the  native  pens  at  the  market,  and  usually  bring  at  least 
half  a  cent  more  per  pound  than  if  they  had  been  sold  from 
the  quarantine  pens. 

Although  good  cattle  have  been  raised  in  the  South  on 
tick-infested  areas,  far  better  ones  are  being  raised  on  lands 
which  have  been  freed  of  ticks,  the  losses  from  Texas  fever 
are  avoided,  and  the  cattle  industry  is  now  more  profitable 
than  it  has  ever  been  before.  All  farmers  should  encourage 
and  help  in  the  eradication  of  the  cattle  tick,  which  is  the 
greatest  drawback  to  the  industry  of  the  South. 


As  stated  before,  the  native  southern  cattle  are  not  large 
in  size  and  are  slow  in  growth.  However,  when  these  ani- 
mals, which  have  become  accustomed  to  taking  care  of 
themselves  throughout  practically  the  whole  year,  are  bred 
to  a  pure-bred  bull,  the  resulting  calves  look  very  much 
more  like  the  sire  than  like  the  native  cows.  In  fact,  many 
half-breed  animals  make  very  desirable  beef.  When  these 
grades  have  received  a  second  or  third  infusion  of  beef  blood, 
the  progeny  are  usually  about  as  desirable  for  beef  purposes 
as  the  animals  of  still  higher  grade.  The  cattle  of  the  South 
can  be  improved  very  rapidly  by  the  use  of  pure-bred  bulls, 
but  the  breeding  of  native  cows  to  good  beef  animals  has  not 
been  rapid  because  formerly  the  majority  of  the  beef  bulls 
were  brought  in  from  the  North  and  a  large  percentage  of 
them  were  lost  from  Texas  fever,  whereas  many  cattle  raised 
in  the  South  get  the  fever  when  young  and  the  death  rate 
among  them  is  not  nearly  so  large  as  when  mature  cattle  first 
become  infected  with  ticks.  (See  Pis.  XXXVII,  XXXVIII, 
and  XXXIX.) 

The  cost  of  raising  cattle  in  the  South  was  determined  in  an 
experimental  way  by  the  department  in  cooperation  with  the 
Alabama  experiment  station.  The  results  of  those  investi- 
gations are  presented  in  Bureau  of  Animal  Industry  Bulletin 
131.  It  was  found  that  when  pasturage  was  charged  to  the 
animal  at  the  rate  of  50  cents  per  month,  when  the  winter  feed 

270  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

consumed  was  charged  at  prevailing  market  prices,  when  taxes, 
insurance,  fencing,  and  rep  airs  were  considered,  when  insurance 
was  maintained  on  the  animals,  and  when  the  manure  produced 
was  credited  at  $  1 .25  per  ton,  the  cost  of  raising  animals  to  the 
age  of  12  months,  24  months,  30  months,  and  33  months  was 
$2.35,  $2.28,  $2.39,  and  $2.31  per  100  pounds,  respectively. 
When  all  of  the  expenses  were  charged  against  the  animals 
and  no  credit  was  made  for  the  manure  the  expense  of  pro- 
ducing a  steer  to  the  age  of  12,  24,  30,  and  33  months  was 
$5.25,  $4.96,  $5.05,  and  $5  per  100  pounds,  respectively. 
That  is,  if  the  animals  are  sold  at  the  above  prices  the  feeds 
consumed  are  marketed  at  a  good  farm  price,  $2.50  an  acre 
is  secured  as  rent  for  the  summer  pasture,  all  losses  by  death 
are  accounted  for,  7  per  cent  interest  is  secured  on  the  capital 
invested  in  the  herd,  and  the  manure  is  secured  free.  To 
realize  such  profits  it  is  essential  that  good  cattle  be  raised. 
The  scrub  is  a  cheap  animal,  which  never  sells  well  because 
of  his  poor  killing  qualities,  and  he  can  not  be  raised  to 

The  cattle  which  were  raised  in  this  experiment  could  have 
been  produced  cheaper  in  other  portions  of  the  South.  Upon 
a  great  number  of  farms  it  is  possible  to  produce  winter  pas- 
ture for  cattle  and  reduce  the  cost  of  wintering  them.  This 
was  not  done  on  the  test  farm,  and  the  cattle  had  the  winter 
range  alone.  By  the  use  of  bur  clover  and  Bermuda  grass  the 
pasture  season  can  be  extended  about  two  months  in  the 
year.  Farmers  in  the  extreme  South  can  have  grazing  the 
year  through  by  the  use  of  Bermuda,  paspalum,  carpet  grass, 
bur  clover,  lespedeza,  and  velvet  beans.  Then,  too,  the 
cattle  produced  in  this  test  were  infested  with  the  cattle 
tick,  which  not  only  retarded  the  growth  of  the  animals  ma- 
terially, but  caused  several  deaths  from  Texas  fever.  These 
losses  naturally  increased  the  cost  of  production.  The  Fed- 
eral Government  and  the  Southern  States  are  now  cooper- 
ating in  the  work  of  exterminating  the  tick,  and  when  this  is 
accomplished  larger  and  better  cattle  can  be  raised. 

In  a  later  experiment *  high-grade  Angus  and  Shorthorn 
cows  were  used  in  a  breeding  test  to  determine  the  cost  of 
raising  calves  in  western  Alabama.  These  cows  were  run  on 
pasture  from  the  middle  of  April  to  the  latter  part  of  Sep- 
tember, and  were  then  run  in  the  stalk  fields  until  January 

i  Department  of  Agriculture  Bulletin  73. 

Production  of  Beef  in  the  South.  271 

20.  During  the  rest  of  the  winter  they  had  the  run  of  the 
whole  plantation,  on  which  was  considerable  switch  cane, 
and  they  were  given  a  small  quantity  of  cottonseed  cake 
each  day.  The  cane  and  the  woods  furnished  ample  pro- 
tection from  the  cold  and  all  of  the  cows  passed  through  the 
winter  in  good  condition.  They  were  again  put  on  pasture 
April  14,  and  the  feeding  of  a  small  amount  of  cake  was  con- 
tinued until  May  7,  when  the  pastures  were  good  and  the 
grass  was  strong.  All  of  the  cows  were  bred  to  Aberdeen- 
Angus  bulls. 

The  calves  were  dropped  during  January,  February,  March, 
and  April.  They  nursed  their  dams  until  September  25, 
when  they  were  taken  away  and  put  into  a  cornfield  where 
there  was  a  good  growth  of  crab  grass  and  cowpeas  besides 
the  cornstalks  from  which  the  corn  had  been  snapped.  On 
October  7  they  were  transferred  to  a  peanut  field  to  graze 
off  the  tops.  They  were  changed  from  this  to  other  cornstalk 
fields  and  on  October  28  they  were  started  on  a  ration  of  1 
pound  of  cottonseed  cake  each,  which  was  gradually  increased 
to  2  pounds  per  head  per  day.  They  were  fed  in  this  manner 
until  January  16,  at  which  time  they  averaged  about  9$ 
months  of  age,  and  the  average  weight  was  460  pounds. 
When  pasturage  had  been  charged  for  them  as  well  as  their 
dams  for  one  year,  when  the  amount  of  cottonseed  cake  con- 
sumed by  both  the  cows  and  the  calves  was  charged  at 
market  prices,  when  taxes  had  been  paid  on  the  cattle,  and 
when  6  per  cent  interest  on  the  cattle  as  well  as  the  cost  of 
labor  and  10  per  cent  depreciation  in  value  of  the  herd  had 
been  allowed,  the  average  cost  of  the  64  calves  produced  to 
the  average  age  of  9J  months  was  $14.36  per  head,  or  $3.12 
per  hundred  pounds. 

The  calves  were  then  put  in  a  dry  lot  and  carried  until 
April  1  on  a  ration  of  corn  silage,  sedge-grass  hay,  and  cotton- 
seed meal.  At  this  time  they  averaged  about  12  months  of 
age  and  weighed  560  pounds  each.  The  cost  of  producing 
them  was  $20.24  per  head,  or  $3.61  per  hundredweight,  and 
they  were  sold  at  a  net  profit  of  $6.81  each  after  all  of  the 
above  expenses  had  been  paid  and  no  account  taken  of  the 
manure  produced. 

These  cattle  had  been  kept  free  of  the  cattle  tick  and  at  all 
times  were  thrifty.  The  male  calves  were  castrated  while 
very  small.     Feeds  were  charged  at  the  following  prices  per 

272  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

ton:  Cottonseed  cake,  $26;  cottonseed  meal,  $26;  corn  silage, 
$3;  and  sedge-grass  hay,  $5. 

With,  the  large  areas  available,  the  South  should  raise  a 
great  many  breeding  cattle.  By  the  use  of  bulls  of  one  breed 
in  localities,  each  State  could  build  up  a  trade  for  breeding 
and  feeding  cattle  in  the  same  manner  that  has  been  done  in 
Texas.  Although  it  is  usually  thought  to  be  more  profitable 
for  the  farmer  to  finish  the  cattle  on  the  farm,  there  will  be 
many  who  prefer  selling  off  grass  in  preference  to  feeding 
them  for  the  market.  These  men  are  the  ones  who  may 
build  up  the  trade  for  feeders  to  be  sent  to  the  corn  belt  as 
soon  as  the  southern  territory  has  been  released  from  quar- 
antine. Breeding  stock  even  of  the  present  quality  is  selling 
at  a  premium  throughout  the  South,  and  many  thousands  of 
the  native  cattle  from  Louisiana,  Mississippi,  Alabama, 
Georgia,  and  Florida  have  been  shipped  into  Oklahoma  and 
western  Texas  to  help  replenish  the  depleted  ranges.  If  the 
western  cattlemen  can  afford  to  pay  good  prices  for  these 
animals  and  then  pay  the  enormous  freight  rates  to  the  west- 
ern country,  it  seems  that  the  southern  farmer  could  make 
money  by  keeping  these  cattle  on  his  own  farm  and  by  the 
use  of  good  beef  bulls  raise  cattle  which  could  be  sent  direct 
to  the  market. 


In  case  the  farmer  wishes  to  finish  his  animals  for  market 
there  are  a  number  of  methods  which  may  be  followed.  He 
may  finish  his  cattle  during  the  winter  and  sell  them  as  calves, 
yearlings',  or  mature  stock,  or  he  may  finish  his  steers  by  feed- 
ing them  on  pasture  during  the  summer.  If  the  first  method 
is  to  be  followed,  he  should  utilize  the  roughage  on  the  farm, 
such  as  hay,  stover,  and  corn  silage,  and  he  may  feed  some  corn 
or  may  use  cottonseed  meal  as  the  sole  concentrate.  Cattle 
which  are  finished  during  the  latter  part  of  the  winter  usually 
sell  for  a  higher  price  per  pound  than  those  which  are  fin- 
ished during  the  summer  months.  This  is  essential  to  the 
farmer,  too,  for  the  cost  of  the  roughage  during  winter  fatten- 
ing is  so  much  greater  than  grass  that  otherwise  money  would 
be  lost  in  the  transaction. 

In  1904  the  Bureau  of  Animal  Industry  began  a  series  of 
experiments  in  feeding  beef  cattle  in  cooperation  with  the 
Alabama  experiment  station.     The  first  three  years'  work 

Yearbook  U.  S.  Dept.  of  Agriculture,  1913. 

Plate  XXXVI. 

Fig.  1.— Breeding-Cows  on  Pasture  in  Mississippi. 
(Courtesy  of  the  Mississippi  Experiment  Station.) 



-  Sfe- 






%•> .  •',    id 

,     ^ 

Fig.  2.— An  Alabama  Beef  Herd  on  Natural  Pasture. 

Yearbook  U.  S.  Dept.  of  Agriculture,  1913. 

Plate  XXXVII. 

Fig.  1.- Portion  of  a  Herd  of  Breeding-Cows  on  an  Alabama  Farm. 
(Those  cows  arc  the  first  and  second  crosses  from  purebred  bulls  on  native  scrub  cattle.) 

Fig.  2.— Tennessee  Steers  in  the  Feed  Lot. 
(Courtesy  of  the  Tennessee  Experiment  Slalion.) 

Yearbook  U.  S.  Dept.  of  Agriculture,  1913. 

Plate  XXXVIII. 

Fig.  1.— Wintering  Steers  in  the  South. 
(Courtesy  of  the  Tennessee  Experiment  Station.) 

Fig.  2.— Shorthorn  Calves  Raised  on  a  Tick-Free  Farm  in  Tennessee. 
(Courtesy  of  Lcspeueza  Farm.) 

Yearbook  U.  S.  Dept.  of  Agriculture,  1913. 

Plate  XXXIX. 

Fig.  1.-A  Mississippi  Raised  Bull  Calf.    Note  the  Wonderful  Thickness 

of  Flesh. 

(Courtesy  or  La  Vernet  Farm.) 

Fig.  2.-A  Yearling  Bull  Raised  in  Mississippi.    This  is  the  Type  to  Use  in 
Improving  Native  Southern  Cattle. 

(Courtesy  of  La  Vernet  Farm.) 

Production  of  Beef  in  the  South.  273 

consisted  of  experimental  tests  of  various  southern  feeds 
for  finishing  cattle  in  the  dry-lot  during  the  winter.1  These 
experiments  show  conclusively  that  cottonseed  meal  was 
the  cheapest  and  best  concentrata  that  could  be  used  in 
the  South  at  that  time,  and  prices  on  corn  and  cottonseed 
are  still  such  that  it  is  equally  true  at  the  present  time. 
The  cottonseed  meal  proved  slightly  more  efficient  for 
producing  gains  in  weight  than  did  corn-and-cob  meal,  and 
the  gains  were  produced  more  cheaply.  Cottonseed  proved 
equal,  pound  for  pound,  to  corn-and-cob  meal,  but  the 
prices  of  cottonseed  have  advanced  so  rapidly  since  the  time 
of  these  experiments  that  it  is  no  longer  profitable  to  feed 
it.  Corn  stover  has  not  proven  profitable  to  feed  as  the 
sole  roughage  to  fattening  cattle.  The  cattle  do  not  seem 
to  eat  as  much  of  it  as  they  should,  and  they  make  smaller 
daily  gains,  require  more  concentrate  to  make  a  pound  of 
'  gain,  do  not  finish  out  as  well,  nor  yield  as  fine  carcasses  as 
cattle  fed  on  cottonseed  hulls.  Cottonseed  hulls  proved 
more  profitable  as  a  roughage  than  did  sorghum,  corn  stover, 
or  hays,  when  the  market  prices  of  each  were  taken  into 
consideration.  Hulls  have  increased  in  value  so  much  that 
this  probably  no  longer  holds  true.  This  was  indicated  by 
the  South  Carolina  experiment  station  2  in  a  test  made  in 
1912,  in  which  the  lots  fed  on  corn  stover  and  corn  silage 
made  greater  profits  than  did  those  which  received  cotton- 
seed hulls  as  the  sole  roughage. 

In  the  Alabama  work  the  average  of  three  years  showed 
that  steers  fed  under  shelter  made  slightly  larger  and  cheaper 
gains  than  did  cattle  fed  in  the  open  lot  without  shelter,  but 
this  difference  in  cost  was  not  great  enough  to  pay  for  the 
upkeep  of  expensive  feeding  sheds.  In  a  later  experiment 3 
carried  out  by  this  bureau  in  cooperation  with  the  Alabama 
station  a  test  was  made  to  determine  whether  or  not  it 
would  be  profitable  for  the  southern  farmer  to  build  sheds 
for  feeding  purposes  when  it  was  desired  to  save  all  the 
manure  possible  by  the  use  of  plenty  of  bedding.  It  is 
known  that  on  most  farms  there  is  some  diy  ground  upon 
which  the  cattle  may  lie  without  shelter,  as  they  are  not 
always  confined  to  small  lots.  Such  was  the  case  in  this 
test.     The  cattle  had  some  protection  from  the  elements  by 

1  Bureau  of  Animal  Industry  Bulletin  103.     3  Bureau  of  Animal  Industry  Bulletin  159. 
» South  Carolina  Bulletin  189. 
27306°— YBK  1913 18 

'274  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

a  grove  of  pine  trees  and  found  high  knolls  upon  which  to  lie 
down  in  rainy  weather.  This  test  showed  that  under  such 
conditions  the  maintenance  of  a  shelter  was  not  profitable 
for  the  fattening  process  alone,  as  the  shelter  made  a  saving 
of  but  6  cents  per  100  pounds  of  gain  made  on  matuie 
animals,  while  the  former  Alabama  experiments  showed  a 
net  saving  of  but  9  cents  per  100  pounds  of  gain  during  three 
years  when  animals  were  confined  in  small  lots.  Often  a 
large  amount  of  the  manure  pioduced  in  a  test  where  cattle 
are  fed  on  a  large  area  is  wasted,  as  it  is  dropped  in  unde- 
sirable places,  and  it  loses  much  in  fertility  by  being  exposed 
to  the  weather.  This  can  be  overcome  by  feeding  cattle  in 
cultivated  fields  which  contain  no  waste  land,  and  which 
may  be  plowed  two  or  three  times  during  the  winter  in 
order  to  turn  under  the  manure  produced.  If,  however, 
this  method  can  not  be  followed  and  the  primary  object  of 
the  feeding  is  that  manure  may  be  secured,  it  will  undoubt-' 
edly  pay  to  feed  in  small  lots  with  spacious  sheds  that  are 
kept  well  bedded.  During  the  first  feeding  tests  carried  on 
by  this  bureau  and  the  Alabama  station,  as  reported  in 
Bureau  of  Animal  Industry  Bulletin  103,  corn  silage  was  not 
used,  but  in  later  tests  a  comparison  of  cottonseed  hulls, 
corn  silage,  and  Johnson  grass  hay  were  made.1 

All  of  the  steers  used  in  this  experiment  were  grades  of  the 
beef  breeds  and  were  2  and  3  year  olds.  Cottonseed  meal 
was  the  sole  concentrate  fed.  The  steers  which  received 
silage  made  satisfactory  daily  gains  and  were  better  fin- 
ished than  either  of  the  other  lots  of  cattle.  They  were 
also  more  profitable,  making  a  clear  profit  of  $7.68,  as  com- 
pared to  $6.97  for  the  cattle  receiving  hulls  and  $5.50  for  the 
ones  receiving  Johnson-grass  hay.  The  South  Carolina  ex- 
periment station  made  a  feeding  test  showing  the  compara- 
tive feeding  values  of  some  southern  roughages,  the  results 
of  which  are  shown  in  South  Carolina  Bulletin  169,  from 
which  Smith  may  be  quoted  as  follows : 

Our  experiments  with  these  3  carloads  of  cattle  indicate  clearly  that 
corn  silage  and  stover  are  equally  as  valuable  as  hulls  for  feeding  beef  cattle 
and  much  more  profitable  to  feed.  *  *  *  With  cottonseed  meal  at  $24 
per  ton  and  freight  charges  at  $100  on  the  60  cattle,  lot  No.  1  paid  $6.86  per 
ton  for  silage,  lot  No.  2  paid  $7.91  per  ton  for  stover,  and  lot  No.  3  paid  $7  per 
ton  for  hulls.    The  prices  obtained  for  silage  and  stover  are  fully  double  the 

>  Bureau  of  Animal  Industry  Bulletin  159. 

Production  of  Beef  in  the  South.  275 

cost  of  production,  thus  leaving  the  farm  a  good  profit  for  growing  them. 
The  cattle  fed  silage  made  greater  and  cheaper  gains  than  the  other  two  lots 
and  took  on  a  better  finish.  The  cattle  fed  stover  made  slightly  better  gains 
than  the  lot  fed  on  hulls,  and  at  less  cost.  *  *  *  With  good  silage  and 
cottonseed  meal  at  a  reasonable  price,  the  opportunities  for  feeding  beef 
cattle  profitably  are  unexcelled  in  any  other  section  of  the  country. 

The  Tennessee  experiment  station  1  has  found  silage  to 
be  the  most  profitable  roughage  which  they  have  tried,  both 
for  feeding  stockers  through  the  winter  and  finishing  steers 
in  the  feed  lot. 

The  Virginia  experiment  station  found  that  silage  was  the 
most  economical  and  profitable  feed  which  was  tried  during 
the  years  1905-1907.  With  reference  to  the  silage-fed  cattle, 
Soule  2  is  quoted  thus :  "As  this  lot  of  cattle  dressed  out  56.9 
per  cent  of  meat  of  fine  quality  in  which  the  fat  and  lean  were 
well  blended  and  equal  to  that  from  western  bullocks,  fed  on 
corn,  there  is  no  justification  for  the  opposition  to  the  use  of 
silage  for  finishing  beef  cattle."  The  Virginia  experiment 
station  has  also  found  that  no  roughages  they  have  used 
have  proven  so  valuable  for  wintering  stockers  as  corn  silage 
and  corn  stover.3 

Experiments  covering  a  period  of  five  years  were  made  at 
the  North  Carolina  experiment  station  and  silage  was  used 
during  each  test.  Taking  these  tests  as  a  whole,  the  silage-fed 
cattle  made  cheaper  gains,  sold  for  a  higher  price,  and 
returned  a  greater  net  profit  than  steers  fed  cottonseed  hulls.4 
Similar  results  were  secured  in  Texas  when  milo  maize  silage 
was  compared  with  cottonseed  hulls.5 

The  Texas  experiment  station 8  found  it  profitable  at  times 
to  use  molasses  in  conjunction  with  corn,  cottonseed  meal, 
and  cottonseed  hulls  for  cattle  feeding.  The  use  of  kafir 
corn  was  found  more  profitable  than  the  use  of  corn  in  supple- 
menting rations  of  cottonseed  hulls  and  cottonseed  meal. 


The  finishing  of  calves  for  market  has  become  an  important 
item  for  the  consideration  of  the  farmer  and  cattleman.  Dur- 
ing the  years  of  1909, 1910, 1911,  and  1912  the  Bureau  of  Ani- 
mal Industry,  in  cooperation  with  the  Alabama  experiment 
station,  fed  out  four  different  herds  of  calves  for  the  market. 

i  Tennessee  Bulletin  3,  Vol.  XV.  *  North  Carolina  Bulletins  218  and  222. 

*  Virginia  Bulletin  173,  p.  121.  '  Texas  Bulletin  153. 

'  Virginia  Bulletin  164.  «  Texas  Bulletin  97. 

276  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

All  of  the  calves  were  taken  from  their  mothers  when  from  6  to 
8  months  of  age  and  immediately  put  on  feed.  The  first  lot 
of  calves  were  started  on  feed  December  3,  1909,  and  aver- 
aged 386  pounds.  They  were  fed  in  a  dry  lot  on  cotton- 
seed meal,  corn  chop,  cottonseed  hulls,  and  mixed  alfalfa 
hay  until  March  24,  1910.  During  this  period  of  112  days 
they  gained  126  pounds  each,  or  1.13  pounds  per  day. 
They  were  then  turned  on  good  pasture  and  fed  cottonseed 
cake  and  alfalfa  hay  for  89  days.  They  did  very  well  on 
the  pasture  and  made  a  daily  gain  of  1.33  pounds  per  head. 
The  gains  made  during  the  winter  months  cost  $8.63  per 
hundred  pounds,  while  the  gains  made  on  pasture  cost 
$4.84  per  hundredweight,  or  practically  half  as  much.  The 
calves  were  14  to  15  months  old  when  sold  and  averaged  628 
pounds.  When  slaughtered,  they  produced  fine  carcasses 
well  covered  with  fat,  and  the  fat  was  evenly  interspersed 
with  the  lean,  giving  a  nice  "marbled"  effect.  They  killed 
out  54.4  per  cent  of  marketable  meat  by  their  farm  weights. 
After  paying  for  all  feeds  at  market  prices  and  pasturage  at 
50  cents  per  head  per  month,  they  returned  a  net  profit  of 
$1.84  per  head,  without  considering  the  manure  produced. 

The  following  year  three  lots  of  high-grade  beef  calves, 
,77  head  in  all,  were  fed  to  determine  if  it  would  be  profitable 
to  feed  corn  in  conjunction  with  a  ration  made  up  of  cotton- 
seed hulls,  alfalfa  hay,  and  cottonseed  meal;  and  what  pro- 
portion of  the  grain  ration  should  consist  of  corn.  Each  of 
the  three  lots  received  cottonseed  hulls  and  alfalfa  hay  as 
roughage,  while  the  concentrate  given  them  was  as  follows: 
Lot  I,  cottonseed  meal;  lot  II,  two-thirds  cottonseed  meal, 
one-third  corn  and  cob  meal;  lot  III,  one-third  cottonseed 
meal,  two-thirds  corn-and-cob  meal. 

The  calves  were  taken  from  their  mothers  November  17 
and  started  on  feed.  They  were  fed  for  120  days,  at  the 
end  of  which  time  they  were  shipped  to  the  Cincinnati 
market.  During  the  feeding"  period  each  calf  in  lots  I,  II, 
and  III  made  an  average  daily  gain  of  1.71,  1.76,  and  1.83 
pounds,  respectively,  while  the  costs  of  the  gains  were  $6.22, 
$6.19,  and  $6.83  per  100  pounds,  respectively.  The  daily 
gains  were  satisfactory  for  animals  of  this  size.  These 
calves  paid  for  all  feeds  at  market  prices,  and  made  a  net 
profit  of  $1.84,  $2.25,  and  $1.48  in  lots  I,  II,  and  III,  respec- 
tively, without  considering  the  manure. 

Production  of  Beef  in  the  South.  277 

Another  bunch  of  52  calves,  which  were  not  as  good  in 
quality,  were  fed  on  cottonseed  meal,  cottonseed  hulls,  and 
cowpea  hay.  The  daily  gain  made  by  each  of  these  calves 
for  the  112  days  they  were  fed  was  1.24  pounds,  and  the 
cost  of  100  pounds  of  gain  was  $6.97.  They  made  a  net 
profit  of  $3.50  per  head  besides  the  manure.  The  daily 
gains  were  not  as  large  and  were  more  expensive  with  these 
calves  than  with  the  calves  of  better  quality  in  the  other 
test,  but  they  were  sold  on  a  better  market  and  thus  made 
a  larger  profit  per  head. 

In  1911  and  1912  another  test1  was  made  to  determine 
the  cost  of  raising  the  calves  and  the  profits  of  finishing  them 
on  the  farm.  When  all  legitimate  charges  were  made 
against  the  calves  for  their  keep,  as  well  as  that  of  their 
dams,  the  cost  of  raising  to  9  months  of  age  or  weaning  time 
proved  to  be  3  cents  per  pound.  These  calves,  numbering 
49  head,  were  fed  on  cottonseed  meal,  corn  silage,  and 
sedge-grass  hay  for  16  days  in  a  preliminary  period  and  76 
days  in  the  regular  feeding  period.  The  silage  was  of  good 
quality,  but  the  hay,  being  composed  of  broom  sedge  and 
lespedeza,  such  as  is  commonly  used  on  many  farms  in  the 
South,  was  poor  in  quality. 

The  calves  did  well  during  the  whole  feeding  period. 
They  made  a  daily  gain  of  1.37  pounds  at  a  cost  of  $5.22 
per  hundredweight.  At  the  close  of  the  test  they  would  have 
classed  as  choice  to  prime  on  the  market,  but  they  were  sold 
on  the  farm,  bringing  5 J  cents  per  pound  and  making  a  net 
profit  of  $9.56  per  head. 

There  was  little  difference  in  the  amount  of  the  gains  of  the 
heifer  and  steer  calves,  but  the  heifer  calves  usually  fattened 
better,  as  there  was  a  more  pronounced  tendency  on  the  part 
of  the  steer  calves  to  grow  than  to  fatten  rapidly. 

In  all  of  the  feeding  experiments  a  profit  was  made  by 
finishing  the  calves.  More  money  was  made  by  finishing 
them  than  would  have  been  realized  if  they  had  been  sold  at 
weaning  time  without  feeding,  for  there  is  no  doubt  that 
many  farmers  sell  their  calves  or  yearlings  at  a  price  which 
is  actually  less  than  it  cost  to  raise  them.  It  was  found  to 
be  more  profitable  to  feed  the  calves  in  the  dry  lot  and 
finish  them  in  a  short  time  than  to  feed  them  all  winter  and 
finish  by  feeding  on  grass  the  following  summer.     The  use 

i  Department  of  Agriculture  Bulletin  73. 

278  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

of  alfalfa  hay  or  cowpea  hay  in  conjunction  with  cottonseed 
hulls  was  beneficial. 

While  profits  were  made  on  the  calves  of  every  experiment 
conducted,  it  does  not  follow  that  all  farmers  should  fatten 
out  their  surplus  stock  as  calves.  Farm  and  market  con- 
ditions may  he  such  that  many  farmers  will  find  it  more 
profitable  to  raise  their  cattle  to  maturity  before  finishing 
them,  while  others  will  find  it  to  be  better  policy  to  feed 
them  out  as  calves  or  yearlings.  It  must  be  remembered 
that  calves  which  can  be  profitably  finished  for  market  must 
be  high  in  quality  and  well  bred;  otherwise  they  will  not 
fatten  properly,  but  will  grow  instead,  and  they  will  not  sell 
to  advantage.  Then,  too,  far  greater  care  must  be  used  in 
feeding  calves  than  older  cattle,  as  they  are  easier  to  go  off 
feed,  and  it  is  harder  to  get  them  to  doing  well  again  if  they 
suffer  from  this  common  complaint. 


Within  the  last  few  years  the  feeding  of  beef  cattle  on 
pasture  has  aroused  considerable  interest  among  the  farmers 
of  the  Southern  States.  This  is  due  partly  to  the  increased 
cost  of  cottonseed  hulls,  which  formerly  constituted  the 
principal  roughage  used  in  winter  feeding,  and  partly  from 
the  realization  that  summer  feeding  is  a  safer  proposition 
financially  than  winter  feeding.  The  tests  in  summer  feed- 
ing in  Alabama  have  been  in  progress  since  1907.1  In  order 
that  there  would  be  little  chance  of  error  in  the  results 
secured  because  of  the  individuality  of  one  or  two  animals, 
a  carload  or  more  of  steers  were  used  in  each  lot  of  the 
various  tests.  Each  year  one  lot  of  cattle  were  grazed  on 
pasture  without  feed  in  order  that  a  comparison  might  be 
secured  between  this  method  and  that  of  feeding  the  cattle 
on  pasture. 

The  cattle  which  received  feed  in  addition  to  the  grass 
made  greater  daily  gains  than  the  grass  cattle.  The  gains 
in  each  case  were  satisfactory,  those  of  the  grass  cattle 
varying  from  1.52  to  1.75  pounds  per  steer  per  day,  while 
the  daily  gains  of  the  fed  cattle  varied  from  1.84  to  2.32 
pounds  per  steer.  The  cattle  which  received  pasture  alone 
made  cheap  gains  each  year,  the  cost  of  100  pounds  of  gain 

i  See  Bureau  of  Animal  Industry  Buls.  131,  159,  and  Department  of  Agriculture  Bul- 
letin 73;  also  Alabama  Bulletins  150, 151, 163. 

Production  of  Beef  in  the  South.  279 

ranging  from  $1.02  to  $1.18  when  pasture  was  charged  at 
50  cents  per  steer  per  month.  The  cost  of  the  increased 
weight  of  the  cake-fed  cattle  varied  from  $2.56  to  $4.02  per 
100  pounds.  When  compared  to  the  cost  of  gains  made  by 
cattle  fed  in  the  winter  these  gains  seem  very  cheap,  as 
winter  gains  usually  cost  from  $8  to  $14  per  hundred  pounds. 
While  the  grass  steers  made  gains  much  cheaper  than  the 
cake-fed  steers,  it  does  not  follow  that  they  were  the  most 
profitable.  The  selling  price  of  the  cake-fed  steers  was 
enough  greater  than  that  of  the  straight  grass  steers  to  pay 
the  difference  in  the  cost  of  the  gains  and  return  a  much 
larger  profit.  This  difference  in  selling  price  usually  ranged 
from  0.5  to  I  cent  per  pound.  The  profits  upon  the  steers 
which  received  grass  alone  varied  from  $2.86  to  $6.84  per 
head,  while  the  profits  on  the  fed  cattle  ranged  from  $4.18  to 
$1 1  per  head,  depending  upon  the  year  the  feeding  was  done 
and  upon  the  feeds  used  to  supplement  the  pastures. 

When  cotton  seed  sold  for  $14  and  cottonseed  cake  for 
$26  per  ton,  as  was  the  case  in  1909,  greater  profits  were  re- 
turned by  the  steers  fed  upon  cotton  seed.  Contrary  to  the 
general  belief,  the  cotton  seed  did  not  cause  the  cattle  to 
scour  while  upon  grass,  but  greater  care  had  to  be  exercised 
by  the  feeder  when  using  cotton  seed  than  when  feeding 
cake.  The  steers  fed  on  cotton  seed  did  not  seem  to  relish 
the  feed  as  well  as  the  steers  fed  on  cake,  about  the  middle  of 
the  summer,  and  it  was  hard  to  keep  the  steers  eating  the 
cotton  seed  at  this  time. 

"Cold  process"  cottonseed  cake  did  not  produce  as  large 
'  daily  gains  nor  as  great  profits  per  steer  as  the  ordinary  cot- 
tonseed cake,  when  the  former  cost  $23  and  the  latter  $26  per 
ton.  There  was  a  difference  of  18  cents  per  hundred  pounds 
in  the  selling  price  of  the  steers  in  favor  of  those  fed  on  cot- 
tonseed cake. 

The  feeding  of  well-fleshed  steers  on  a  heavy  ration  of 
cottonseed  cake  in  order  that  they  might  be  finished  for 
the  market  by  July  1  has  proven  more  profitable  than  the 
feeding  of  a  medium  ration  of  cake  for  a  longer  period.  The 
profit  realized  per  steer  by  each  method  was  $8.30  and  $7.73, 

The  principal  advantages  of  finishing  the  cattle  early  in  the 
summer  are:  (1)  The  cattle  do  not  come  in  competition  with 
so  many  fat  grass  cattle,  and  they  sell  at  such  prices  that  they 

280  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

are  more  profitable  than  cattle  sold  later  in  the  season;  (2) 
the  cattle  are  taken  off  the  pasture  in  July  and  it  is  permitted 
to  grow  up  for  late  fall  pasture  for  other  animals;  and  (3)  the 
money  invested  in  the  feeding  operations  is  not  tied  up  for 
so  long  a  period. 

A  lot  of  54  native  Alubama  scrub  steers  of  various  sizes 
and  ages  were  fed  on  pasture  in  the  same  manner  as  a  lot  of 
good  grade  beef  steers.  The  scrub  steers  cost  one-half  a 
cent  less  per  pound  at  the  beginning  of  the  experiment  and 
made  a  profit  of  but  43  cents  per  head,  while  the  grade 
steers  realized  a  profit  of  $10.42  each.  The  scrub  steers 
made  satisfactory  gains  on  pasture,  but  the  quality  of  the 
cattle  was  such  that  they  did  not  sell  for  nearby  so  much  as 
the  grade  steers  of  the  beef  breeds.  The  better  the  quality 
of  the  steers  to  be  fed,  the  better  are  the  chances  of  making 
good  profits,  provided  the  purchase  price  is  not  widely  differ- 
ent on  the  two  classes. 

The  summer  feeding  of  cattle  has  been  profitable  in  every 
test  made  except  one,  in  which  the  cattle  were  fed  during 
the  whole  winter  before  turning  upon  grass.  The  grass  was 
"slushy"  during  the  entire  grazing  season,  due  to  excessive 
rains  and  the  fact  that  the  pasture  was  on  low  land.  Satis- 
factory gains  could  not  be  expected  under  such  conditions. 

The  margin  of  profit  necessary  to  break  even  is  far  smaller 
during  the  summer  feeding  than  during  winter  feeding.  The 
summer  feeding  of  steers  is  a  safer  proposition  and  more 
money  is  usually  realized  than  by  finishing  the  steers  during 
the  winter.  Summer  feeding  is  especially  urged  upon  those 
farmers  who  have  available  pastures  and  who  are  not  in  a  * 
position  to  raise  all  of  the  feeds  necessary  for  winter  feeding 
upon  the  farm.  The  manure  will  not  be  available  for  the 
crops,  however,  as  in  the  case  of  winter  feeding,  for  it  will  be 
scattered  about  the  pasture. 

Some  steers  were  fed  at  the  Mississippi  experiment  sta- 
tion during  the  summer  of  1909,  but  the  pastures  were  poor; 
consequently  the  daily  gains  were  small,  being  but  1.25 
pounds  per  head.  The  cost  of  the  summer  gains  were  $5.38 
per  hundredweight  as  compared  to  $6.49  per  hundredweight 
for  the  winter  feeding.  Larger  profits  were  secured  than  by 
winter  feeding  and  it  was  conceded  to  be  a  safer  practice.1 

■  Mississippi  Bulletin  136. 

Production  of  Beef  in  the  South.  281 

That  much  interest  is  being  taken  in  the  beef-cattle  in- 
dustry in  the  South  is  shown  by  the  large  number  of  farmers 
who  are  buying  pure-bred  cattle  for  the  first  time,  by  the 
scarcity  of  good  grade  beef  cows  and  the  readiness  with 
which  they  sell  when  offered,  and  by  the  great  increase  in 
the  number  of  silos  which  are  being  erected  by  the  owners 
of  beef  cattle.  In  12  counties  in  Mississippi  that  have 
eradicated  the  cattle  tick  there  have  been  purchased  in  6 
months  over  400  pure-bred  beef  bulls  and  1,000  pure-bred 
beef  cows,  representing  a  cash  expenditure  of  over  $200,000. 
These  cattle  have  been  purchased  largely  by  small  farmers. 
In  South  Carolina,  county  live-stock  associations  are  being 
formed  and  one  breed  of  beef  cattle  is  decided  upon,  in  order 
to  create  a  breeding  center  for  that  breed  and  to  secure  a 
uniform  product.  Of  the  number  of  prospective  silos  to  be 
built  in  Alabama  during  1914,  over  70  per  cent  are  to  be  for 
farmers  who  are  raising  beef  cattle.  In  the  Texas  Pan- 
handle many  silos  are  being  dug  or  erected.  The  cattle 
raiser  of  that  section  has  decided  he  should  finish  his  cattle 
for  the  market,  and  a  great  change  in  methods  will  probably 
be  seen  there  within  five  years.  In  other  Southern  States 
pure-bred  cattle  are  being  purchased,  silos  and  barns  are 
being  built,  preparations  are  being  made  to  raise  greater 
amounts  of  feed,  and  plans  are  being  made  for  the  feeding 
of  more  cattle.  There  are  signs  of  progress  everywhere  and 
the  growth  of  the  entire  industry  seems  assured.  The 
result  of  all  this  will  be  an  increase  in  the  fertility  of  the 
soil  and  the  foundation  of  a  permanent  system  of  soil  im- 

The  farmers  of  the  whole  South  will  eventually  realize  two 
important  facts :  (1)  That  more  live  stock  should  be  kept  on 
every  southern  farm,  and  (2)  if  these  stock  are  beef  cattle 
each  of  them  should  be  finished  for  the  market  before  selling 
in  order  to  secure  the  greatest  profits.  Whether  these  ani- 
mals should  be  fattened  during  the  winter  or  the  summer 
will  depend  largely  upon  local  conditions.  One  of  the  most 
important  factors  to  consider  when  debating  whether  to 
feed  cattle  during  the  summer  or  the  winter  is  the  need  of 
immediate  applications  of  manure  to  the  cultivated  lands. 
If  the  fields  are  poor  and  manure  is  needed  upon  them  at 
once,  it  may  pay  to  finish  cattle  during  the  winter,  for  cattle 
which  are  fed  during  the  summer  drop  the  manure  over  the 

282  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

pasture  lands  and  little  is  saved  to  haul  to  the  cultivated 
fields.  The  manure  on  the  pasture  will  stimulate  the  growth 
of  the  grasses,  however,  and  increase  the '  'carrying  capacity  " 
of  the  pasture,  and  if  the  pastures  are  put  in  cultivation  later 
the  effects  of  the  manure  will  be  apparent. 

The  greatest  need  of  the  southern  soils  is  barnyard  manure, 
the  application  of  which  always  increases  the  yields  of  the 
subsequent  crops,  regardless  of  the  type  of  the  soils  to  which 
it  is  applied.  Cotton  responds  very  readily  to  stable  ma- 
nure, in  fact,  far  more  readily  than  either  corn  or  oats,  and 
this  in  itself  is  a  great  item  in  favor  of  five  stock,  for  cotton 
is  and  probably  always  will  be  the  staple  crop  of  the  South, 
and  an  increased  yield  per  acre  means  greater  profits  to  the 
farmer.  By  raising  live  stock  the  soil  is  improved  by  the 
growing  of  leguminous  pasture  grasses,  of  nitrogen-gathering 
forage  crops,  by  the  return  of  the  manure  to  the  land,  and 
by  abandoning  the  one-crop  system,  which  is  the  worst  form 
of  soil  robbery. 


By  Lyster  H.  Dewey, 
Botanist  in  Charge  of  Fiber-Plant  Investigations,  Bureau  of  Plant  Industry. 


THE  two  fiber-producing  plants  most  promising  for  culti- 
vation in  the  central  United  States  and  most  certain  to 
yield  satisfactory  profits  are  hemp  and  flax.  The  oldest 
cultivated  fiber  plant,  one  for  which  the  conditions  in  the 
United  States  are  as  favorable  as  anywhere  in  the  world, 
one  which  properly  handled  improves  the  land,  and  which 
yields  one  of  the  strongest  and  most  durable  fibers  of  com- 
merce, is  hemp.  Hemp  fiber,  formerly  the  most  important 
material  in  homespun  fabrics,  is  now  most  familiar  to  the 
purchasing  public  in  this  country  in  the  strong  gray,  tying 
twines  one-sixteenth  to  one-fourth  inch  in  diameter,  known 
by  the  trade  name  "commercial  twines." 


The  name  "hemp"  belongs  primarily  to  the  plant  Can- 
nobis  saliva.  (PI.  XL,  fig.  1.)  It  has  long  been  used  to 
designate  also  the  long  fiber  obtained  from  the  hemp  plant. 
(PI.  XL,  fig.  4.)  Hemp  fiber,  being  one  of  the  earliest  and 
best-known  textile  fibers  and  until  recent  times  the  most 
widely  used  of  its  class,  has  been  regarded  as  the  typical 
representative  of  long  fibers.  Unfortunately,  its  name  also 
came  to  be  regarded  as  a  kind  of  common  name  for  all  long 
fibers,  until  one  now  finds  in  the  market  quotations  "Manila 
hemp"  for  abaca,  "sisal  hemp"  for  sisal  and  henequen, 
"'  Mauritius  hemp  "  for  Furcraea  fiber,  "  New  Zealand  hemp  " 
for  phormium,  "Sunn  hemp"  for  Crotalaria  fiber,  and 
"India  hemp"  for  jute.  All  of  these  fibers  in  appearance 
and  in  economic  properties  are  unlike  true  hemp,  while  the 
name  is  never  applied  to  flax,  which  is  more  nearly  like  hemp 
than  any  other  commercial  fiber. 

The  true  hemp  is  known  in  different  languages  by  the  fol- 
lowing names:  Cannabis,  Latin;  chanvre,  French;  canamo, 



Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

Spanish;  cariliamo,  Portuguese;  canapa,  Italian;  canep, 
Albanian;  Tconopli,  Eussian;  Tconopj  and  peneTc,  Polish;  Tcemp, 
Belgian;  hanf,  German;  hennup,  Dutch;  Tiamp,  Swedish; 
hampa,  Danish;  Jcenevir,  Bulgarian;  ta-ma,  si-ma,  and  tse-ma, 
Chinese;  asa,  Japanese;  nasha,  Turkish;  Jcanabira,  Syrian; 
Tcanndb,  Arabic. 


Hemp  was  formerly  the  most  important  long  fiber,,  and  it 
is  now  used  more  extensively  than  any  other  soft  fiber  except 
jute.  From  10,000  to  15,000  tons  are  used  in  the  United 
States  every  year.  The  approximate  amount  consumed  in 
American  spinning  mills  is  indicated  by  the  following  table, 
showing  the  average  annual  importations  1  and  estimates  of 
average  domestic  production  of  hemp  fiber  for  35  years : 

Average  annual  imports  and  estimates  of  average  annual  production  of  hemp 
fiber  in  5-year  periods  from  1S76  to  1910,  inclusive,  and  from  1911  to  191S, 



tion in 


1876  to  1830 

1881  to  1885 


1891  to  1895 

1896  to  1930 

1901  to  1935 

1906  to  1910 

1911  to  1913 




18, 697 
10, 162 

There  are  no  statistics  available,  such  as  may  be  found 
for  wheat,  corn,  or  cotton,  showing  with  certainty  the 
acreage  and  production  of  hemp  in  this  country.  The  esti- 
mates of  production  in  the  foregoing  table  are  based  on  the 
returns  of  the  Commissioner  of  Agriculture  of  Kentucky  for 
earlier  years  with  amounts  added  to  cover  the  production  in 
other  States,  and  on  estimates  of  hemp  dealers  for  more 
recent  years.  While  these  figures  can  not  be  regarded  as 
accurate  statistics,  and  they  are  probably  below  rather  than 
above  the  actual  production,  especially  in  the  earlier  years, 

«  Computed  from  reports  of  the  Bureau  of  Navigation  and  Commerce,  XJ.  S.  Treasury  De- 
partment, and  Bureau  of  Statistics,  Department  of  Commerce. 

Hemp.  285 

they  indicate  a  condition  well  recognized  by  all  connected 
with  the  industry.  The  consumption  of  hemp  fiber  has  a 
slight  tendency  to  increase,  but  the  increase  is  made  up 
through  increased  importations,  while  the  domestic  produc- 
tion shows  a  tendency  toward  reduction. 


This  falling  off  in  domestic  production  has  been  due  pri- 
marily to  the  increasing  difficulty  in  securing  sufficient  labor 
to  take  care  of  the  crop ;  secondarily,  to  the  lack  of  develop- 
ment of  labor-saving  machinery  as  compared  with  the  ma- 
chinery for  handling  other  crops  and  to  the  increasing  profits 
in  raising  stock,  tobacco,  and  corn,  which  have  largely  taken 
the  attention  of  farmers  in  hemp-growing  regions. 

The  work  of  retting,  breaking,  and  preparing  the  fiber  for 
market  requires  a  special  knowledge,  different  from  that  for 
handling  grain  crops,  and  a  skill  best  acquired  by  experience. 
These  factors  have  been  more  important  than  all  others  in 
restricting  the  industry  to  the  bluegrass  region  of  Kentucky, 
where  the  plantation  owners  as  well  as  the  farm  laborers  are 
familiar  with  every  step  in  handling  the  crop  and  producing 
the  fiber. 

An  important  factor,  tending  to  restrict  the  use  of  hemp, 
has  been  the  rapidly  increasing  use  of  other  fibers,  especially 
jute,  in  the  manufacture  of  materials  formerly  made  of 
hemp.  Factory-made  woven  goods  of  cotton  or  wool,  more 
easily  spun  by  machinery,  have  replaced  the  hempen  "home- 
spun" for  clothing;  wire  ropes,  stronger,  lighter,  and  more 
rigid,  have  taken  its  place  in  standing  rigging  for  ships; 
abaca  (Manila  hemp),  lighter  and  more  durable  in  salt 
water,  has  superseded  it  for  towing  hawsers  and  hoisting 
ropes;  while  jute,  inferior  in  strength  and  durability,  and 
with  only  the  element  of  cheapness  in  its  favor,  is  usurping 
the  legitimate  place  of  hemp  in  carpet  warps,  so-called 
"hemp  carpets,"  twines,  and  for  many  purposes  where  the 
strength  and  durability  of  hemp  are  desired. 

The  introduction  of  machinery  for  harvesting  hemp  and 
also  for  preparing  the  fiber,  together  with  the  higher  prices 
paid  for  hemp  during  the  past  three  years,  has  aroused  an 
interest  in  the  industry,  and  many  experiments  are  being 
tried  with  a  view  to  the  cultivation  of  the  crop  in  new  areas. 

286  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 



The  hemp  plant,  Cannabis  sativa  L.,1  ia  an  annual,  growing  each  year  from 
the  seed.  It  has  a  rigid,  herbaceous  stalk,  attaining  a  height  of  1  to  5  meters 
(3  to  16  feet),  obtusely  4-cornered,  more  or  less  fluted  or  channeled,  and 
with  well-marked  nodes  at  intervals  of  10  to  50  centimeters  (4  to  20  inches). 
When  not  crowded  it  has  numerous  spreading  branches,  and  the  central 
stalk  attains  a  thickness  of  3  to  6  centimeters  (1  to  2  inches),  with  a  rough 
bark  near  the  base.  If  crowded,  as  when  sown  broadcast  for  fiber,  the 
stalks  are  without  branches  or  foliage  except  at  the  top,  and  the  smooth 
fluted  stems  are  6  to  20  millimeters  (J  to  }  inch)  in  diameter.  The  leaves, 
opposite,  except  near  the  top  or  on  the  shortened  branches,  appearing 
fascicled,  are  palmately  compound  and  composed  of  5  to  11 — usually  7 — 
leaflets.  (PI.  XLI,  fig.  1.)  The  leaflets  are  dark  green,  lighter  below,  lance- 
olate, pointed  at  both  ends,  serrate,  5  to  15  centimeters  (2  to  6  inches)  long, 
and  1  to  2  centimeters  (J  to  J  inch)  wide.  Hemp  is  dioecious,  the  stami- 
nate  or  pollen-bearing  flowers  and  the  pistillate  or  seed-producing  flowers 
being  borne  on  separate  plants.  The  staminate  flowers  (PI.  XL,  fig.  2)  are 
borne  in  small  axillary  panicles,  and  consist  of  five  greenish  yellow  or 
purplish  sepals  opening  wide  at  maturity  and  disclosing  five  stamens  which 
discharge  abundant  yellow  pollen .  The  pistillate  flowers  (PI.  XL,  fig.  3)  are 
stemless  and  solitary  in  the  axils  of  the  small  leaves  near  the  ends  of  the 
branches,  often  crowded  so  as  to  appear  like  a  thick  spike.  The  pistillate 
flower  is  inconspicuous,  consisting  of  a  thin,  entire,  green  calyx,  pointed, 
with  a  slit  at  one  side,  but  remaining  nearly  closed  over  the  ovary  and 
merely  permitting  the  two  small  stigmas  to  protrude  at  the  apex.  The 
ovary  is  one  seeded,  developing  into  a  smooth,  compressed  or  nearly  spher- 
ical achene  (the  "seed  "),  2.5  to  4  millimeters  (fj  to  ^  inch)  thick  and  3  to 
6  millimeters  (J  to  J  inch)  long,  from  dark  gray  to  light  brown  in  color  and 
mottled  (PI.  XLI,  fig.  2).  The  seeds  cleaned  for  market  nearly  always  in- 
clude some  still  covered  with  the  green,  gummy  calyx.  The  seeds  vary  in 
weight  from  0.008  to  0.027  gram,  the  dark-colored  seeds  being  generally  much 
heavier  than  the  light-colored  seeds  of  the  same  sample.  The  light-colored 
seeds  are  often  imperfectly  developed.  Dark-colored  and  distinctly 
mottled  seeds  are  generally  preferred. 

The  staminate  plants  are  often  called  the  flowering  hemp,  since  the  pistil- 
late flowers  are  rarely  observed.  The  staminate  plants  die  after  the  pollen  is 
shed,  but  the  pistillate  plants  remain  alive  and  green  two  months  later,  or 
until  the  seeds  are  fully  developed. 

i  Linaseus.    Species  Plantarum,  ed.  1, 1027, 1753. 

Dloscorides.    Medica  Materia,  libri  sex,  p.  147, 1537. 

Synonyms:  Cannabis  erratka  paludosa  Anders.  Lobel.     Stirpium  Historla,  284, 1576. 
Cannabis  indica  Lamarck.    Encyclopaedia,  1:  695, 1788. 
Cannabis  macrosperma  Stokes.    Bot.  Mat.  Med.,  IV,  539, 1812. 
Cannabis  clinensis  Delile.    Ind.  Sem.  Hort.  Monst.  in  Ann.  Sci.  Nat.  Bot., 

12:  365, 1849. 
Cannabis  gigantea  Delile.    L.  Vllmorin.    Rev.  Hort.,  5:  s.  3, 109, 1851. 

Hemp.  287 


The  hemp  stalk  is  hollow,  and  in  the  best  fiber-producing  types  the  hollow 
space  occupies  at  least  one-half  the  diameter.  The  hollow  space  is  widest,  or 
the  surrounding  shell  thinnest,  about  midway  between  the  base  and  the  top 
of  the  plant.  The  woody  shell  is  thickened  at  each  node,  dividing  the 
hollow  space  into  a  series  of  partly  separated  compartments.  (PI.  XLI, 
fig.  4.)  If  the  stalk  is  cut  crosswise  a  layer  of  pith,  or  thin-walled  tissue,  is 
found  next  to  the  hollow  center,  and  outside  of  this  a  layer  of  wood  composed 
of  hard,  thick- walled  cells.  This  layer,  which  forms  the  "  hurds, "  is  a  very 
thin  shell  in  the  best  fiber-producing  varieties.  It  extends  clear  across  the 
stem  below  the  lowest  node,  and  in  large,  coarse  stalks  grown  in  the  open  it  is 
much  thicker  and  the  central  hollow  relatively  smaller.  Outside  of  the 
hard  woody  portion  is  the  soft  cambium,  or  growing  tissue,  the  cells  of  which 
develop  into  the  wood  on  the  inside,  or  into  the  bast  and  bark  on  the  outside. 
It  is  chiefly  through  this  cambium  layer  that  the  fiber-bearing  bast  splits 
away  from  the  wood  in  the  processes  of  retting  and  breaking.  Outside  of 
the  cambium  is  the  inner  bark,  or  bast,  comprising  short,  thin-walled  cells 
filled  with  chlorophyll,  giving  it  a  green  color,  and  long  thick- walled  cells, 
making  the  bast  fibers.  These  bast  fibers  are  of  two  kinds,  the  smaller  ones 
(secondary  bast  fibers)  toward  the  inner  portion  making  up  rather  short,  fine 
fibers,  many  of  which  adhere  to  the  wood  or  hurds  when  the  hemp  is  broken, 
and  the  coarser  ones  (primary  bast  fibers)  toward  the  outer  part,  extending 
nearly  throughout  the  length  of  the  stalk.  Outside  of  the  primary  bast 
fiber  is  a  continuation  of  the  thin- walled  chlorophyll-bearing  cells  free  from 
fiber,  and  surrounding  all  is  the  thin  epidermis. 


The  hemp  fiber  of  commerce  is  composed  of  the  primary  bast  fibers,  with 
some  adherent  bark  and  also  some  secondary  bast  fiber.  The  bast  fibers 
consist  of  numerous  long,  overlapping,  thick- walled  cells  with  long,  tapering 
ends.  The  individual  cells,  almost  too  small  to  be  seen  by  the  unaided  eye, 
are  0.015  to  0.05  millimeter  (s^m  to  yjfo  inch)  in  diameter,  and  5  to  55  milli- 
meters (A  to  2J  inches)  long.  Some  of  the  bast  fibers  extend  through  the 
length  of  the  stalk,  but  some  are  branched,  and  some  terminate  at  each  node. 
They  are  weakest  at  the  nodes. 


The  hemp  plant  belongs  to  the  mulberry  family,  Moracese, 
which  includes  the  mulberry,  the  Osage  orange,  the  paper 
mulberry,  from  the  bast  of  which  the  tapa  of  the  South  Sea 
Islands  is  made,  and  the  hop,  which  contains  a  strong  bast 
fiber.  Hemp  is  closely  related  to  the  nettle  family,  which 
includes  ramie,  an  important  fiber-producing  plant  of  Asia, 
and  several  species  of  nettles  having  strong  bast  fibers. 

288  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

The  genus  Cannabis  is  generally  regarded  by  botanists  as 
monotypic,  and  the  one  species  Cannabis  sativa  is  now  held  to 
include  the  half  dozen  forms  which  have  been  described  under 
different  names  (see  footnote,  p.  286)  and  which  are  cultivated 
for  different  purposes.  The  foregoing  description  refers  espe- 
cially to  the  forms  cultivated  for  the  production  of  fiber. 



Hemp  was  probably  the  earliest  plant  cultivated  for  the 
production  of  a  textile  fiber.  The  "Lu  Shi,"  a  Chinese  work 
of  the  Sung  dynasty,  about  500  A.  D.,  contains  a  statement 
that  the  Emperor  Shen  Nung,  in  the  twenty-eighth  century 
B.  C,  first  taught  the  people  of  China  to  cultivate  "ma" 

(hemp)  for  making  hempen  cloth. 
The  name  ma  (fig.  17)  occurring  in 
the  earliest  Chinese  writings  desig- 
nated a  plant  of  two  forms,  male 
and  female,  used  primarily  for 
fiber.  Later  the  seeds  of  this 
plant  were  used  for  food.1  The 
definite  statement  regarding  the 
staminate  and  pistillate  forms 
eliminates  other  fiber  plants  in- 

Fia.lT.-Chmese  character  ma,  the      cluded    ^  later   times  Under    the 

earliest  name  for  hemp.  . 

Chinese  name  ma.  ine  Chinese 
have  cultivated  the  plant  for  the  production  of  fiber  and  for 
the  seeds,  which  were  used  for  food  and  later  for  oil,  while  in 
some  places  the  stalks  are  used  for  fuel,  but  there  seems  to  be 
no  record  that  they  have  used  the  plant  for  the  production  of 
the  narcotic  drugs  bhang,  charas,  and  ganga.  The  produc- 
tion and  use  of  these  drugs  were  developed  farther  west. 


The  use  of  hemp  in  medicine  and  for  the  production  of  the 
narcotic  drug  Indian  hemp,  or  cannabis,  is  of  interest  in 
this  paper  only  because'  of  its  bearing  on  the  origin  and  de- 
velopment of  different  forms  of  the  plant.  The  origin  of 
this  use  is  not  definitely  known,  but  the  weight  of  evidence 

1  Bretschneider,  E.    Botanlcum  Sinicum,  in  Journal  of  the  North  China  Branch  of  tho 
Royal  Asiatic  Society,  n.  s.,  v.  25,  p.  203, 1893,  Shanghai. 

Hemp.  289 

seems  to  indicate  central  Asia  or  Persia  and  a  date  many  cen- 
turies later  than  its  first  cultivation  for  fiber.  The  name 
bhanga  occurs  in  the  Sanskrit  "  Atharvav6da "  (about  1400 
B.  C),  but  the  first  mention  of  it  as  a  medicine  seems  to  be 
in  the  work  of  Susruta  (before  the  eighth  century  A.  D.), 
while  in  the  tenth  century  A.  D.  its  intoxicating  nature  seems 
to  have  been  known,  and  the  name  "indracana"  (Indra's 
food)  first  appears  in  literature.1  A  further  evidence  that 
hemp,  for  the  production  of  fiber  as  well  as  the  drug,  has  been 
distributed  from  central  Asia  or  Persia  is  found  in  the  com- 
mon origin  of  the  names  used.  The  Sanskrit  names 
"bhanga"  and  "gangika,"  slightly  modified  to  "bhang" 
and  "ganja,"  are  still  applied  to  the  drugs,  and  the  roots  of 
these  words,  "ang"  and  "an,"  recur  in  the  names  of  hemp 
in  all  of  the  Indo-European  and  modern  Semitic  languages, 
as  bhang,  ganja,  hanf,  hamp,  hemp,  chanvre,  cafiamo, 
kannab,  cannabis.2 


Northern  India  has  been  regarded  by  some  writers  as  the 
home  of  the  hemp  plant,  but  it  seems  to  have  been  unknown 
in  any  form  in  India  before  the  eighth  century,  and  it  is  now 
thought  to  have  been  introduced  there  first  as  a  fiber  plant. 
It  is  still  cultivated  to  a  limited  extent  for  fiber  in  Kashmir 
and  in  the  cool,  moist  valleys  of  the  Himalayas,  but  in  the 
warmer  plains  regions  it  is  grown  almost  exclusively  for  the 
production  of  the  drugs.3 

Hemp  was  not  known  to  the  Hebrews  nor  to  the  ancient 
Egyptians,  but  in  medieval  times  it  was  introduced  into 
North  Africa,  where  it  has  been  cultivated  only  for  the  drug. 
It  is  known  in  Morocco  as  "kif,"  and  a  small  form,  1  to  3  feet 
high,  cultivated  there  has  been  described  as  a  distinct 
variety,  Cannabis  sativa  Tcif* 


According  to  Herodotus  (about  450  B.  C),  the  Thracians 
and  Scythians,  beyond  the  Caspian  Sea,  used  hemp,  and  it 
is  probable  that  the  Scythians  introduced  the  plant  into 
Europe  in   their  westward  migration,   about   1500   B.    C, 

1  Watt,  Sir  George.    Commercial  Products  of  India,  p.  251, 1908. 

2  Do  Candolle,  Alphonse.    Origin  of  Cultivated  Plants,  p.  148, 1886. 

3  Watt,  Sir  George.    Commercial  Products  of  India,  p.  253, 1908. 
<  De  Candolle,  Alphonse.    Prodromus,  v.  16,  pt.  1,  p.  31, 1869. 

27306°— ybk  1913 19 

290  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

though  it  seems  to  have  remained  almost  unknown  to  the 
Greeks  and  Romans  until  the  beginning  of  the  Christian  era. 
The  earliest  definite  record  of  hemp  in  Europe  is  the  state- 
ment that  "Hiero  II,  King  of  Syracuse  (270  B.  C),  bought 
hemp  in  Gaul  for  the  cordage  of  his  vessels."1  From  the 
records  of  Tragus  (1539  A.  D.),  hemp  in  the  sixteenth  century- 
had  become  widely  distributed  in  Europe.  It  was  cultivated 
for  fiber,  and  its  seeds  were  cooked  with  barley  and  other 
grains  and  eaten,  though  it  was  found  dangerous  to  eat  too 
much  or  too  frequently.  Dioscorides  called  the  plant  Can- 
nabis sativa,  a  name  it  has  continued  to  bear  to  the  present 
time,  and  he  wrote  of  its  use  in  "making  the  stoutest  cords" 
and  also  of  its  medicinal  properties.2  Nearly  all  of  the  early 
herbalists  and  botanical  writers  of  Europe  mention  hemp, 
but  there  is  no  record  of  any  further  introduction  of  impor- 
tance in  the  fiber  industry  until  the  last  century. 


In  1846  M.  Hubert  sent  from  China  to  the  Museum  at 
Paris  some  seeds  of  the  "tsing-ma,"  great  hemp,  of  China. 
Plants  from  this  seed,  grown  at  Paris  by  M.  L.  Vilmorin, 
attained  a  height  of  more  than  15  feet,  but  did  not  produce 
seeds.  In  the  same  year  M.  Itier  sent  from  China  to  M. 
Delile,  of  the  Garden  at  Montpellier,  France,  seeds  of  a 
similar  kind  of  hemp.  These  seeds  were  distributed  in  the 
southern  part  of  France,  where  the  plants  not  only  grew 
tall,  some  of  them  measuring  21  feet,  but  they  also  produced 
mature  seeds.  M.  Delile  called  this  variety  Cannabis 
chinensis  3  and  the  one  from  the  seeds  sent  by  M.  Hebert  he 
called  C.  gigantea.*  These  two  forms  of  hemp  were  regarded 
as  the  same  by  M.  L.  Vilmorin,  who  states  that  they  differ 
very  much  in  habit  from  the  common  hemp  of  Europe, 
which  was  shorter  and  less  valuable  for  fiber  production. 
We  are  also  told  that  this  chanvre  de  Chine  did  not  appear 
to  be  the  same  as  the  chanvre  de  Piedmont,5  the  tall  hemp 
of  eastern  France  and  northern  Italy,  the  origin  of  which 
has  sometimes  been  referred  to  this  introduction,  but  this 

i  De  Candolle,  Alphonse.    Origin  of  Cultivated  Plants  ,p.  148, 1886. 

2  Dioscorides.    Medica  Materia,  li  brl  sex,  p.  147, 1537. 

3  Delile,  Rafienau.    Index  seminum  liorti  botanici  Monspeliensis.    Ann.  Sci.  Nat.  Bot., 
v.  12,  p.  365, 1849. 

«  Vilmorin,  L.    Chanvre  de  Chine.    Rev.  Hort.  5:  s.  3,  p.  109, 1851. 
5  Pepin.    Sur  le  chanvre  de  Chine.    Rev.  Hort.  1:  s.  3,  p.  199, 1847. 

Hemp.  291 

may  iiave  originated  in  a  previous  introduction,  since 
Cannabis  chinensis  is  mentioned  as  having  been  in  the 
Botanical  Garden  at  Vienna  in  1827.  In  the  same  state- 
ment, however,  0.  sativa  pedemontana  is  described  as  a  dis- 
tinct variety.1  Particular  attention  is  called  to  the  intro- 
duction of  this  large  Chinese  hemp  into  Europe,  since  it  was 
doubtless  from  the  same  source  as  the  best  hemp  seed  now 
brought  from  China  to  the  United  States. 


Hemp  from  Spain  was  introduced  into  Chile  about  1545.2 
It  has  been  largely  grown  in  that  country,  but  at  present  its 
cultivation  is  confined  chiefly  to  the  fertile  lands  in  the 
valley  of  the  Rio  Aconcagua,  between  Valparaiso  and  Los 
Andes,  where  there  are  large  cordage  and  twine  mills.  The 
fiber  is  all  consumed  in  these  mills. 


Hemp  was  introduced  into  New  England  soon  after  the 
Puritan  settlements  were  established,  and  the  fact  that  it 
grew  "twice  so  high"  as  it  did  in  old  England  was  cited  as 
evidence  of  the  superior  fertility  of  the  soil  of  New  England.3 
A  few  years  later  a  writer  in  Virginia  records  the  statement 
that  "They  begin  to  plant  much  Hempe  and  Flax  which 
they  find  growes  well  and  good."  *  The  cultivation  of  hemp 
in  the  New  England  colonies,  while  continued  for  some  time 
in  Massachusetts  and  Connecticut,  did  not  attain  as  much 
importance  as  the  cultivation  of  flax  for  supplying  fiber  for 
household  industry.  In  the  South  hemp  received  more 
attention,  especially  from  the  Virginia  Legislature,  which 
passed  many  acts  designed  to  promote  the  industry,  but 
all  in  vain.5 

The  cultivation  of  hemp  seems  to  have  been  a  flourishing 
industry  in  Lancaster  County,  Pa.,  before  the  Revolution. 
An   elaborate   account   of  the  methods   then  employed  in 

1  De  Candolle,  Alphonse.    Prodromus,  v.  16,  pt.  1,  p.  31, 1869. 

2  Husbands,  Jose1  D.  U.S.  Department  of  Agriculture,  Bureau  of  Plant  Industry,  Bulletin 
1S3,  p.  42, 1909. 

8  Morton,  Thomas.  New  English  Canaan,  p.  64,  1632.  In  Force,  Peter,  Tracts  and  Other 
Papers,  v.  2, 1838. 

*  Virginia,  printed  for  Richard  Wodenoth,  1649.  In  Force,  Peter,  Tracts  and  Other  Papers, 
v.  2, 1838. 

'  Moore,  Brent.  A  Study  ot  the  Past,  the  Present,  and  the  Possibilities  of  the  Hemp  Indus 
try  in  Kentucky,  p.  14, 1905. 

292  Yearbook  oj  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

growing  hemp,  written  about  1775  by  James  Wright,  of 
Columbia,  Pa.,1  was  recently  published  as  an  historical  docu- 
ment. The  methods  described  for  preparing  the  land  were 
equal  to  the  best  modern  practice,  but  the  hemp  was  pulled 
by  hand  instead  of  cut.  Various  kinds  of  machine  brakes 
had  been  tried,  but  they  had  all  "given  Way  to  one  simple 
Break  of  a  particular  Construction,  which  was  first  invented 
&  made  Use  of  in  this  country."  The  brief  description 
indicates  the  common  hand  brake  still  in  use  in  Kentucky. 


The  first  crop  of  hemp  in  Kentucky  was  raised  by  Mr. 
Archibald  McNeil,  near  Danville,  in  1775.2  It  was  found 
that  hemp  grew  well  in  the  fertile  soils  of  the  bluegrass 
country,  and  the  industry  was  developed  there  to  a  greater 
extent  than  it  had  been  in  the  eastern  colonies.  While  it 
was  discontinued  in  Massachusetts,.  Virginia,  and  Pennsyl- 
vania, it  has  continued  in  Kentucky  to  the  present  time. 
In  the  early  days  of  this  industry  in  Kentucky,  fiber  was  pro- 
duced for  the  homespun  cloth  woven  by  the  wives  and 
daughters  of  the  pioneer  settlers,  and  an  export  trade  by 
way  of  New  Orleans  was  developed.  In  1802  there  were 
two  extensive  ropewalks  in  Lexington,  Ky.,  and  there  was 
announced  "a  machine,  moved  by  a  horse  or  a  current  of 
water,  capable,  according  to  what  the  inventor  said,  to 
break  and  clean  eight  thousand  weight  of  hemp  per  day."  3 
Hemp  was  later  extensively  used  for  making  cotton-bale 
covering.  Cotton  bales  were  also  bound  with  hemp  rope 
until  iron  ties  were  introduced,  about  1865.  There  was  a 
demand  for  the  better  grades  of  hemp  for  sailcloth  and  for 
cordage  for  the  Navy,  and  the  industry  was  carried  on  more 
extensively  from  1840  to  1860  than  it  has  been  since. 


Hemp  was  first  grown  in  Missouri  about  1835,  and  in  1840 
1,600  tons  were  produced  in  that  State.  Four  years  later 
the  output  had  increased  to  12,500  tons,  and  it  was  thought 
that  Missouri  would  excel  Kentucky  in  the  production  of 

i  New  Era,  Lancaster,  Pa.,  June  24, 1905. 

*  Moore,  Brent.    A  Study  of  the  Past,  the  Present,  and  the  Possibilities  of  the  Hemp 
Industry  in  Kentucky,  p.  16,  1905. 

*  Michaux,  F.  Andre.    Travels  to  the  west  of  the  Alleghanies,  p.  152,  1805.    In  Thwaites, 
Early  Western  Travels,  v.  3,  p.  200, 1904. 

Hemp.  293 

this  fiber.  With  the  unsatisfactory  methods  of  cleaning  the 
fiber  on  hand  brakes  and  the  difficulties  of  transporting  the 
fiber  to  the  eastern  markets,  hemp  proved  less  profitable 
than  other  crops,  and  the  industry  was  finally  abandoned 
about  1890. 

Hemp  was  first  grown  at  Champaign,  111.,  about  1875.  A 
cordage  mill  was  established  there  for  making  twines  from 
the  fiber,  which  was  prepared  in  the  form  of  long  tow  by  a 
large  machine  brake.  The  cordage  mill  burned  and  the 
industry  was  discontinued  in  1902  because  there  was  no 
satisfactory  market  for  the  kind  of  tow  produced. 

In  Nebraska,  hemp  was  first  grown  at  Fremont  in  1887  by 
men  from  Champaign,  111.  A  binder-twine  plant  was  built, 
but  owing  to  the  low  price  of  sisal,  more  suitable  for  binder 
twine,  most  of  the  hemp  was  sold  to  eastern  mills  to  be  used 
in  commercial  twines.  After  experimenting  with  machine 
brakes  the  company  brought  hand  brakes  from  Kentucky 
and  colored  laborers  to  operate  them.  The  laborers  did.  not 
stay,  and  the  work  was  discontinued  in  1900.  Some  of  the 
men  who  had  been  connected  with  the  company  at  Fremont 
began  growing  hemp  at  Havelock,  near  Lincoln,  in  1895.  A 
machine  for  making  long  tow,  improved  somewhat  from  the 
one  at  Champaign,  was  built.  Further  improvements  were 
made  in  the  machine  and  also  in  the  methods  of  handling  the 
crop,  but  the  industry  was  discontinued  in  1910,  owing  to  the 
lack  of  a  satisfactory  market  for  the  kind  of  tow  produced. 

Hemp  was  first  grown  on  a  commercial  scale  in  California 
at  Gridley,  in  Butte  County,  by  Mr.  John  Heaney,  who  had 
grown  it  at  Champaign  and  who  devised  the  machine  used 
there  for  making  long  tow.  Mr.  Heaney  built  a  machine  with 
some  improvements  at  Gridley,  and  after  three  disastrous 
inundations  from  the  Feather  River  moved  to  Courtland,  in 
the  lower  Sacramento  Valley,  where  the  reclaimed  lands  are 
protected  by  dikes.  The  work  is  now  being  continued  at 
Rio  Vista,  in  Solano  County,  under  more  favorable  condi- 
tions and  with  a  machine  still  further  improved.  The  hemp 
fiber  produced  in  California  is  very  strong  and  is  generally 
lighter  in  color  than  that  produced  in  Kentucky. 

In  1912  hemp  was  first  cultivated  on  a  commercial  scale 
under  irrigation  at  Lerdo,  near  Bakersfield,  Cal.,  and  a 
larger  acreage  was  grown  there  in  1913.  The  seed  for  both 
crops  was  obtained  in  Kentucky. 

294  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 


In  1857  the  first  Chinese  hemp  seed  was  imported.  It 
met  with  such  favor  that  some  of  this  seed  is  said  to  have 
brought  $10  per  quart.1  Since  that  time  the  common  hemp 
of  European  origin  has  given  place  in  this  country  to  the 
larger  and  better  types  from  China. 


The  original  home  of  the  hemp  plant  was  in  Asia,  and  the 
evidence  points  to  central  Asia,  or  the  region  between  the 
Himalayas  and  Siberia.  Historical  evidence  must  be  ac- 
cepted rather  than  the  collection  of  wild  specimens,  for  hemp 
readily  becomes  naturalized,  and  it  is  now  found  growing 
without  cultivation  in  all  parts  of  the  world  where  it  has  been 
introduced.  Hemp  is  abundant  as  a  wild  plant  in  many 
localities  in  western  Missouri,  Iowa,  and  in  southern  Minne- 
sota, and  it  is  often  found  as  a  roadside  weed  throughout  the 
Middle  West.     De  Candolle2  writes  of  its  origin  as  follows: 

The  species  has  been  found  wild,  beyond  a  doubt,  south  of  the  Caspian 
Sea  (De  Bunge);  in  Siberia,  near  the  Irtysch;  and  in  the  Desert  of  Kirghiz, 
beyond  Lake  Baikal,  in  Dahuria  (Government  of  Irkutsh).  It  is  found 
throughout  central  and  southern  Russia  and  south  of  the  Caucasus,  but 
its  wild  nature  here  is  les3  certain.  I  doubt  whether  it  is  indigenous  in 
Persia,  for  the  Greeks  and  Hebrews  would  have  known  of  it  earlier. 

Hemp  is  now  cultivated  for  the  production  of  fiber  in  China, 
Manchuria,  Japan,  northern  India,  Turkey,  Russia,  Austria- 
Hungary,  Italy,  France,  Belgium,  Germany,  Sweden,  Chile, 
and  in  the  United  States.  It  is  grown  for  the  production  of 
the  drugs  bhang,  ganja,  kif,  marihuana,  hasheesh,  etc.,  in  the 
warm,  arid,  or  semiarid  climates  of  India,  Persia,  Turkey, 
Algeria,  central  and  southern  Africa,  and  in  Mexico,  and  for 
the  production  of  seed  for  oil  in  China  and  Manchuria. 

In  the  United  States  hemp  is  now  cultivated  in  the  blue- 
grass  region  of  Kentucky  within  a  radius  of  50  miles  of  Lex- 
ington; in  the  region  of  Waupun,  Wis.;  in  northern  Indiana; 
near  Lima,  Ohio;  and  at  Lerdo  and  Rio  Vista,  Cal.  There 
are  numerous  small  experimental  plats  in  other  places. 

The  principal  countries  producing  hemp  fiber  for  export 
are  Russia,   Italy,   Hungary,   and   Roumania.     China   and 

1  Moore,  Brent.    The  Hemp  Industry  in  Kentucky,  pp.  60-61,  1905. 

2  De  Candolle,  Alphonse.    Origin  of  Cultivated  Plants,  p.  148, 1886. 

Hemp.  295 

Japan  produce  hemp  fiber  of  excellent  quality,  but  it  is  nearly- 
all  used  for  home  consumption.  Hemp  is  not  cultivated  for 
fiber  in  the  Tropics  or  in  any  of  the  warm  countries. 

The  historical  distribution  of  hemp,  as  nearly  as  may  be 
traced  from  the  records,  and  the  areas  where  hemp  is  now 
cultivated  are  indicated  in  the  accompanying  map,  figure  6. 


Hemp,  cultivated  for  three  different  products — fiber  from 
the  bast,  oil  from  the  seeds,  and  resinous  drugs  from  the 
flowers  and  leaves — has  developed  into  three  rather  dis- 
tinct types  or  groups  of  forms.  The  extreme,  or  more 
typical,  forms  of  each  group  have  been  described  as  different 
species,  but  the  presence  of  intergrading  forms  and  the  fact 
that  the  types  do  not  remain  distinct  when  cultivated  under 
new  conditions  make  it  impossible  to  regard  them  r.s  valid 

There  are  few  recognized  varieties  in  either  group.  Less  than 
20  varieties  of  fiber-producing  hemp  are  known,  although 
hemp  has  been  cultivated  for  more  than  40  centuries, 
or  much  longer  than  either  cotton  or  corn,  both  of  which 
now  have  hundreds  of  named  varieties. 


The  original  home  of  the  hemp  plant  was  in  China,  and 
more  varieties  are  found  there  than  elsewhere.  It  is  culti- 
vated for  fiber  in  nearly  all  parts  of  the  Chinese  Republic, 
except  in  the  extreme  south,  and  over  a  wide  range  of  dif- 
ferences in  soil  and  climate  with  little  interchange  of  seed, 
thus  favoring  the  development  and  perpetuation  of  varietal 

The  variety  called  "ta-ma"  (great  hemp)  is  cultivated 
chiefly  in  the  provinces  of  Chekiang,  Kiangsu,  and  Fukien, 
south  of  the  Yangtze.  In  the  rich  lowland  soils,  often  in  ro- 
tation with  rice,  but  not  irrigated,  and  with  a  warmer  and 
longer  growing  season  than  in  Kentucky,  this  hemp  attains 
a  height  of  10  to  15  feet.  The  seed  is  dark  colored,  usually 
well  mottled,  small,  weighing  about  1.2  grams  per  hundred. 
The  internodes  of  the  main  stem  are  6  to  10  inches  long; 
the  branches  long  and  slender,  usually  drooping  at  the  ends; 
the  leaves  large;  and  the  pistillate  flowers  in  small  clusters. 



Fig.  18.— Map  of  the  world,  showing  the  location  of  hemp  cultivation  for  fiber,  oil,  and  drug,  with  the  sources  and  dates  of  introduction. 

Hemp.  297 

Seed  brought  from  China  to  Kentucky  in  recent  years  is 
mostly  of  this  variety.  When  first  introduced  it  is  too  long  in 
maturing  to  permit  all  of  the  seeds  to  ripen. 

The  most  important  fiber  plant  of  western  China  is  the 
variety  of  hemp  called  "hoa-ma."  It  is  grown  in  the 
province  of  Szechwan  and  as  a  winter  crop  on  the  plains  of 
Chengtu  in  that  province.  It  is  shorter  and  more  compact 
in  its  habit  of  growth  and  earlier  in  maturing  than  the  ta-ma 
of  the  lowlands. 

A  variety  called  "shan-ma-tse"  is  cultivated  in  the 
mountain  valleys  in  the  provinces  of  Shansi  and  Chihli,  in 
northern  China.  Its  fiber  is  regarded  as  the  best  in  North 
China,  and  in  some  respects  as  superior  to  that  of  ta-ma, 
though  the  yield  is  usually  smaller.  The  plants  attain  a 
height  of  6  to  9  feet,  with  a  very  thin  woody  shell,  short 
ascending  branches,  rather  small  leaves,  and  larger  seeds  in 
larger  clusters  than  those  of  ta-ma.  Imported  seed  of  this 
variety,  grown  in  a  trial  plat  in  Kentucky,  produced  plants 
smaller  in  size  and  maturing  earlier  than  Kentucky  hemp. 

In  the  mountains  both  north  and  south  of  Ichang  in 
central  China  a  variety  called  "t'ang-ma"  (cold  hemp)  is 
cultivated  primarily  for  the  production  of  seeds,  from  which 
oil  is  expressed.  It  is  a  very  robust  form,  with  stalks  6  to  12 
feet  high  and  2  to  4  inches  in  diameter.  These  stalks  are 
used  for  fuel,  and  occasionally  a  little  fiber  is  stripped  off  for 
domestic  use. 

In  Manchuria  two  distinct  kinds  of  hemp  are  cultivated. 
One,  called  "hsien-ma,"  very  similar  to  the  shan-ma-tse  of 
northern  China,  is  grown  for  fiber.  It  attains  a  height  of  8 
to  9  feet,  and  requires  nearly  150  days  from  seeding  to  full 
maturity.  The  other,  called  "shem-ma,"  is  grown  for  oil- 
seed production.  It  attains  a  height  of  3  to  5  feet  and  is 
ripe  with  fully  matured  seeds  in  less  than  100  days.  The 
branches  usually  remain  undeveloped,  so  that  the  clusters 
of  seeds  are  borne  in  compact  heads  at  the  tops  of  the  simple 
stalks.  (PI.  XLII,  fig.  1.)  It  is  said  that  in  Manchuria  these 
two  forms  remain  distinct  without  crossing  or  producing  any 
intergrading  forms. 

The  Chinese  name  "ma"  (fig.  17),  originally  applied 
only  to  the  true  hemp  {Cannabis  sativa),  is  now  used  as  a 

298  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

general  term  to  designate  nearly  all  textile  plants  in  China.1 
This  general  use  leads  to  nearly  as  much  confusion  among 
English-speaking  people  in  China  as  does  the  unfortunate 
use  of  the  name  hemp  as  a  synonym  for  fiber  in  this  country. 
The  staminate  hemp  plant  is  called  "si-ma,"  and  the  pistil- 
late plant  "  tsu-ma."  Flax,  cultivated  to  a  limited  extent  in 
northern  China,  is  called  "siao-ma"  (small  hemp),  but  this 
name  is  also  applied  to  small  plants  of  true  hemp.  Eamie, 
cultivated  in  central  and  southern  China,  is  "ch'u-ma"  or 
"tsu-ma."  China  jute,  cultivated  in  central  and  northern 
China  and  in  Manchuria  and  Chosen  (Korea),  is  called"  tsing- 
ma,"  or  "ching-ma,"  and  its  fiber,  exported  from  Tientsin,  is 
called  "pei-ma."  India  jute,  cultivated  in  southern  China 
and  Taiwan,  is  called  "oi-ma."  The  name  "chih-ma"  is 
also  applied  in  China  to  sesame,  which  is  not  a  fiber  plant. 


Hemp,  called  "  asa"  in  the  Japanese  language,  is  cultivated 
chiefly  in  the  provinces  or  districts  of  Hiroshima,  Tochigi, 
Shimane,  Iwate,  and  Aidzu,  and  to  a  less  extent  in  Hokushu 
(Hokkaido)  in  the  north  and  Kiushu  in  the  south.  It  is  cul- 
tivated chiefly  in  the  mountain  valleys,  or  in  the  north  on 
the  interior  plains,  where  it  is  too  cool  for  cotton  and  rice  and 
where  it  is  drier  than  on  the  coastal  plain.  That  grown  in 
Hiroshima,  in  the  south,  is  tall,  with  a  rather  coarse  fiber; 
that  in  Tochigi,  the  principal  hemp-producing  province,  is 
shorter,  5  to  7  feet  high,  with  the  best  and  finest  fiber,  and  in 
Hokushu  it  is  still  shorter. 

Seeds  from  Hiroshima,  Shimane,  Aidzu,  Tochigi,  and 
Iwate  were  tried  by  the  United  States  Department  of  Agri- 
culture in  1901  and  1902.  The  plants  showed  no  marked 
varietal  differences.  They  were  all  smaller  than  the  best 
Kentucky  hemp.  The  seeds  varied  from  light  grayish  brown, 
5  millimeters  (^  inch)  long,  to  dark  gray,  4  millimeters  (£  inch) 
long.  The  largest  plants  in  every  trial  plat  were  from 
Hiroshima  seeds,  and  these  seeds  were  larger  and  lighter 
colored  than  those  .of  any  other  variety  except  Shimane, 
the  seeds  of  which  were  slightly  larger  and  the  plants  slightly 

'  Bretschneider,  E.    Botanicum  Sinicum,  p.  203, 1893. 

Hemp.  299 


Hemp  is  cultivated  throughout  the  greater  part  of  Russia, 
and  it  is  one  of  the  principal  crops  in  the  provinces  of  Orel, 
Kursk,  Samara,  Smolensk,  Tula,  Voronezh,  and  Poland. 
Two  distinct  types,  similar  to  the  tall  fiber  hemp  and  the 
short  oil-seed  hemp  of  Manchuria,  are  cultivated,  and  there 
are  doubtless  many  local  varieties  in  isolated  districts  where 
there  is  little  interchange  of  seed.  The  crop  is  rather  crudely 
cultivated,  with  no  attempt  at  seed  selection  or  improve- 
ment, and  the  plants  are  generally  shorter  and  coarser  than 
the  hemp  grown  in  Kentucky.  The  short  oil-seed  hemp 
with  slender  stems,  about  30  inches  high,  bearing  compact 
clusters  of  seeds  and  maturing  in  60  to  90  days,  is  of  little 
value  for  fiber  production,  but  the  experimental  plats, 
grown  from  seed  imported  from  Russia,  indicate  that  it  may 
be  valuable  as  an  oil-seed  crop  to  be  harvested  and  thrashed 
in  the  same  manner  as  oil-seed  flax. 


The  hemp  in  Hungary  has  received  more  attention  in 
recent  years  than  that  in  Russia,  and  this  has  resulted  in  a 
better  type  of  plants.  An  experimental  plat  grown  at  Wash- 
ington from  Hungarian  seed  attained  a  height  of  6  to  10  feet 
in  the  seed  row.  The  internodes  were  rather  short,  the 
branches  numerous,  curved  upward,  and  bearing  crowded 
seed  clusters  and  small  leaves.  About  one-third  of  the  plants 
had  dark-purple  or  copper-colored  foliage  and  were  more 
compact  in  habit  than  those  with  normal  green  foliage. 


The  highest-priced  hemp  fiber  in  the  markets  of  either 
America  or  Europe  is  produced  in  Italy,1  but  it  is  obtained 
from  plants  similar  to  those  in  Kentucky.  The  higher  price 
of  the  fiber  is  due  not  to  superior  plants,  but  to  water  retting 
and  to  increased  care  and  labor  in  the  preparation  of  the  fiber. 

Four  varieties  are  cultivated  in  Italy: 

(1)  "Bologna,"  or  great  hemp,  called  in  France  "chanvre  de  Piedmont," 
is  grown  in  northern  Italy  in  the  provinces  of  Bologna,  Ferrara,  Roviga, 

1  Bruek,  Werner  F.    Studien  uber  den  Hanfbau  in  Italien,  p.  7, 1911. 

300  YearbocJc  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

and  Modena.  In  the  rich  alluvial  soils  and  under  the  intensive  cultivation 
there  practiced  this  variety  averages  nearly  12  feet  in  height,  but  it  is  said 
to  deteriorate  rapidly  when  cultivated  elsewhere. 

(2)  "Cannapa  picola,"  small  hemp,  attaining  a  height  of  4  to  7  feet, 
with  a  rather  slender  reddish  stalk,  is  cultivated  in  the  valley  of  the  Arno 
in  the  department  of  Tuscany.1 

(3)  "Neapolitan,"  large  seeded. 

(4)  "Neapolitan,"  small  seeded. 

The  two  varieties  of  Neapolitan  hemp  are  cultivated  in  the 
vicinity  of  Naples,  and  even  so  far  up  on  the  sides  of  Vesuvius 
that  fields  of  hemp  are  occasionally  destroyed  by  the  erup- 
tions of  that  volcano. 

Seed  of  each  of  these  Italian  varieties  has  been  grown  in 
trial  plats  at  Washington,  D.  C,  and  Lexington,  Ky.  The 
Bologna,  or  Piedmont,  hemp  in  seed  rows  attained  a  height 
of  8  to  11  feet,  nearly  as  tall  as  Kentucky  seed  hemp  grown 
for  comparison,  but  with  thicker  stalks,  shorter  and  more 
rigid  branches,  and  smaller  and  more  densely  clustered  leaves. 
The  small  hemp,  cannapa  picola,  was  only  4  to  6  feet  high. 
The  large-seeded  Neapolitan  was  7  to  10  feet  high,  smaller 
than  the  Bologna,  but  otherwise  more  like  Kentucky  hemp, 
with  more  slender  stalks  and  more  open  foliage.  The  small- 
seeded  Neapolitan,  with  seeds  weighing  less  than  1  gram  per 
100,  rarely  exceeded  4  feet  in  height  in  the  series  of  plats 
where  all  were  tried. 


Hemp  is  cultivated  in  France  chiefly  in  the  departments  of 
Sarthe  and  Ille-et-Vilaine,  in  the  valley  of  the  Loire  River. 
Two  varieties  are  grown,  the  Piedmont,  from  Italian  seed, 
and  the  common  hemp  of  Europe.  The  former  grows  large 
and  coarse,  though  not  as  tall  as  in  the  Bologna  region,  and 
it  produces  a  rather  coarse  fiber  suitable  for  coarse  twines. 
The  latter,  seed  of  which  is  sown  at  the  rate  of  1  i  to  2  bushels 
per  acre,  has  a  very  slender  stalk,  rarely  more  than  4  or  5 
feet  high,  producing  a  fine  flaxlike  fiber  that  is  largely  used 
in  woven  hemp  linens. 

The  common  hemp  of  Europe,  which  includes  the  short 
hemp  of  France,  is  also  cultivated  to  a  limited  extent  in 
Spain,  Belgium,  and  Germany.  It  grows  taller  and  coarser 
when  sown  less  thickly  on  rich  land,  but  it  never  attains 
the  size  of  the  Bologna  type. 

1  Dodge,  Charles  Richards.    Culture  of  hemp  in  Europe.    U.  S.  Department  ol  Agricul- 
ture, Fiber  Investigations,  Report  No.  11,  p.  6, 1898. 

Hemp.  301 


Chilean  hemp,  originally  from  seed  of  the  common  hemp 
of  Europe,  has  developed  in  three  and  a  half  centuries  into 
coarser  plants  with  larger  seeds.  When  sown  broadcast 
for  fiber  in  Chile  the  plants  attain  a  height  of  6  to  8  feet, 
and  when  in  checks  or  drills  for  seed  they  reach  10  to  12  feel . 

Hemp  from  Chilean  seed  (S.  P.  I.  No.  24307),  grown  at  the 
experiment  stations  at  Lexington,  Ky.,  and  St.  Paul,  Minn., 
in  1909,  was  4  to  9  feet  high  in  the  broadcast  plats  and  about 
the  same  height  in  the  seed  drills.  It  matured  earlier  than 
hemp  of  Chinese  origin.  Its  leaves  were  small  and  crowded, 
with  the  seed  clusters  near  the  ends  of  slender,. spreading 
branches.  The  fiber  was  coarse  and  harsh.  The  seeds  were 
very  large,  5  to  6  millimeters  long,  and  weighed  about  2 
grams  per  100. 


A  variety  of  hemp,  intermediate  between  the  fiber-produc- 
ing and  the  typical  drug-producing  types,  is  cultivated  in 
Asiatic  Turkey,  especially  in  the  region  of  Damascus,  and  to 
a  limited  extent  in  European  Turkey.  This  variety,  called 
Smyrna,  is  about  the  poorest  variety  from  which  fiber  is 
obtained.  It  is  cultivated  chiefly  for  the  narcotic  drug,  but 
fiber  is  also  obtained  from  the  stalks.  It  grows  3  to  6  feet 
high,  with  short  internodes,  numerous  ascending  branches, 
densely  crowded  foliage  of  small  leaves,  and  abundant  seeds 
maturing  early.  It  seems  well  suited  for  the  production  of 
birdseed,  but  its  poor  type,  combined  with  prolific  seed  pro- 
duction, makes  it  a  dangerous  plant  to  grow  in  connection 
with  fiber  crops. 


Hemp  is  cultivated  in  India  over  an  area  of  2,000  to  5,000 
acres  annually  for  the  production  of  the  narcotic  drugs 
known  as  hashish,  charras,  bhang,  and  ganja.  Some  fiber 
is  obtained,  especially  from  the  staminate  plants,  in  the 
northern  part  of  Kashmir,  where  the  hemp  grown  for  the 
production  of  charras  is  more  like  the  fiber  types  than  that 
grown  for  bhang  farther  south. 

Plants  grown  by  the  Department  of  Agriculture  at  Wash- 
ington from  seed  received  from  the  Botanical  Garden  at  Sib- 
pur,  Calcutta,  India,  agreed  almost  perfectly  with  the  de- 

302  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

scription  of  Cannabis  indica  '  written  by  Lamarck  more  than 
a  century  ago.  (PL  XLII,  fig.  2.)  They  were  distinctly  dif- 
ferent in  general  appearance  from  any  of  the  numerous  forms 
grown  by  this  department  from  seed  obtained  in  nearly  all 
countries  where  hemp  is  cultivated,  but  the  differences  in 
botanical  characters  were  less  marked.  The  Indian  hemp 
differed  from  Kentucky  hemp  in  its  more  densely  branching 
habit,  its  very  dense  foliage,  the  leaves  mostly  alternate,  7  to 
1 1  (usually  9)  very  narrow  leaflets,  and  in  its  nearly  solid 
stalk.  It  was  imperfectly  dioecious,  a  character  not  observed 
in  any  other  variety.  Its  foliage  remained  green  until  after 
the  last  leaves  of  even  the  pistillate  plants  of  Kentucky  hemp 
had  withered  and  fallen.  It  was  very  attractive  as  an  orna- 
mental plant  but  of  no  value  for  fiber. 


Hemp  somewhat  similar  to  that  of  India,  but  generally 
shorter,  is  cultivated  in  Arabia,  northern  Africa,  and  also  by 
some  of  the  natives  in  central  and  southern  Africa  for  the 
production  of  the  drug,  but  not  for  fiber.  In  Arabia  it  is 
called  "takrousi,"  in  Morocco  "kief"  or  "kif,"  and  in  South 
Africa  "dakkan."  None  of  these  plants  is  suitable  for  fiber 


Practically  all  of  the  hemp  grown  in  the  United  States  is 
from  seed  produced  in  Kentucky.  The  first  hemp  grown  in 
Kentucky  was  of  European  origin,  the  seed  having  been 
brought  to  the  colonies,  especially  Virginia,  and  taken  from 
there  to  Kentucky.  In  recent  years  there  has  been  practi- 
cally no  importation  of  seed  from  Europe.  Remnants  of  the 
European  types  are  occasionally  found  in  the  shorter,  more 
densely  branching  stalks  terminating  in  thick  clusters  of 
small  leaves.  These  plants  yield  more  seed  and  mature  earlier 
than  the  more  desirable  fiber  types  introduced  from  China 

Nearly  all  of  the  hemp  now  grown  in  Kentucky  is  of 
Chinese  origin.  Small  packets  of  seed  are  received  from 
American  missionaries  in  China.  These  seeds  are  carefully 
cultivated  for  two  or  three  generations  in  order  to  secure  a 
sufficient  quantity  for  field  cultivation,  and  also  to  acclimate 
the  plants  to  Kentucky  conditions.     Attempts  to  produce 

1  Lamarck.    Encyclopedie,  v.  1,  p.  695,  1788. 

Hemp.  303 

fiber  plants  by  sowing  imported  seed  broadcast  have  not 
given  satisfactory  results.  Seed  of  the  second  or  third 
generation  from  China  is  generally  regarded  as  most  desirable. 
This  Kentucky  hemp  of  Chinese  origin  has  long  internodes, 
long,  slender  branches,  opposite  and  nearly  horizontal  except 
the  upper  ones,  large  leaves  usually  drooping  and  not 
crowded,  with  the  seeds  in  small  clusters  near  the  ends  of  the 
branches.  Small,  dark-colored  seeds  distinctly  mottled  are 
preferred  by  the  Kentucky  hemp  growers.  Under  favorable 
conditions  Kentucky  hemp  attains  a  height  of  7  to  10  feet 
when  grown  broadcast  for  fiber  and  9  to  14  feet  when  culti- 
vated for  seed. 


Without  selection  or  continued  efforts  to  maintain  superior 
types,  the  hemp  in  Kentucky  deteriorates.  As  stated  by  the 
growers,  the  hemp  "runs  out."  The  poorer  types  of  plants 
for  fiber  are  usually  the  most  prolific  seed  bearers,  and  they 
are  often  earlier  in  maturing;  therefore,  without  selection 
or  roguing,  the  seed  of  these  undesirable  types  increases  more 
rapidly  than  that  of  the  tall,  late-maturing,  better  types 
which  bear  fewer  seeds.  New  supplies  of  seed  are  brought 
from  China  to  renew  the  stock.  Owing  to  the  confusion  of 
names  the  seed  received  is  not  always  of  a  desirable  kind, 
and  sometimes  jute,  China  jute,  or  ramie  seeds  are  obtained.  • 
When  seed  of  the  ta-ma  variety  is  secured  and  is  properly 
cultivated  for  two  or  three  generations  there  is  a  marked 
improvement,  but  these  improved  strains  run  out  in  less  than 
10  years. 

The  numerous  trials  that  have  been  made  by  the  Depart- 
ment of  Agriculture  with  hemp  seed  from  nearly  all  of  the 
sources  mentioned  and  repeated  introductions  from  the  more 
promising  sources  indicate  that  little  permanent  improve- 
ment may  be  expected  from  mere  introduction  not  followed 
by  breeding  and  continued  selection.  In  no  instance,  so 
far  as  observed,  have  any  of  the  plants  from  imported  seed 
grown  as  well  the  first  year  as  the  Kentucky  hemp  cultivated 
for  comparison.  Further  introduction  of  seed  in  small  quan- 
tities is  needed  to  furnish  stock  for  breeding  and  selection. 
The  most  promising  varieties  for  introduction  are  ta-ma  and 
shan-ma-tze,  from  Chin  a ;  Hiroshima  and  Tochigi,  from  Japan ; 
Bologna,  from  Italy;  and  improved  types  from  Hungary. 

304  Yearbook  of  the  Department  0/  Agriculture. 


Kentucky  hemp  is  reasonably  uniform,  not  because  of 
selection,  or  even  grading  the  seeds,  but  because  all  types 
have  become  mixed  together.  Nearly  all  the  seed  is  raised 
in  a  limited  area.  Hemp  being  cross-fertilized,  it  is  more 
difficult  to  keep  distinct  types  separate  than  in  the  case  of 
wheat,  flax,  or  other  crops  with  self-pollinated  flowers,  but 
it  is  merely  necessary  to  isolate  the  plants  cultivated  for 
seed  and  then  exercise  care  to  prevent  the  seed  from  becom- 
ing mixed.  Until  1903  no  well-planned  and  continued  effort 
seems  to  have  been  undertaken  in  this  country  to  produce  an 
improved  variety  of  hemp.  At  that  time  the  results  of 
breeding  by  careful  selection  improved  varieties  of  wheat 
and  flax  at  the  Minnesota  Agricultural  Experiment  Station 
were  beginning  to  yield  practical  returns  to  the  farmers  of 
that  State.  Mr.  Fritz  Knorr,  from  Kentucky,  then  a  student 
in  the  Minnesota  College  of  Agriculture,  was  encouraged  to 
take  up  the  work  with  hemp.  Seed  purchased  from  a  dealer 
in  Nicholasville,  Ky.,  was  furnished  by  the  United  States 
Department  of  Agriculture.  The  work  of  selection  was  con- 
tinued until  1909  under  the  direction  of  Prof.  C.  P.  Bull, 
agronomist  at  the  station.  Points  especially  noted  in  se- 
lecting plants  from  which  to  save  seed  for  propagation  were 
length  of  internode,  thinness  of  shell,  height,  and  tendency 
of  the  stems  to  be  well  fluted.  The  seasons  there  were  too 
short  to  permit  selection  for  plants  taking  a  longer  season 
for  growth.  The  improved  strain  of  hemp  thus  developed 
was  called  Minnesota  No.  8.  Seed  of  this  strain  sown  at  the 
experiment  station  at  Lexington,  Ky.,  in  1910  and  1911 
produced  plants  more  uniform  than  those  from  unselected 
Kentucky  seed,  and  the  fiber  was  superior  in  both  yield  and 
quality.  A  small  supply  of  this  seed,  grown  by  the  Depart- 
ment of  Agriculture  at  Washington,  D.  C,  in  1912,  was  dis- 
tributed to  Kentucky  hemp-seed  growers  in  1913,  and  in 
every  instance  the  resulting  seed  plants  were  decidedly  supe- 
rior to  those  from  ordinary  Kentucky  seed. 

Seed  selection  is  practiced  to  a  limited  extent  on  some  of 
the  best  hemp-seed  farms  in  Kentucky.  Before  the  seed- 
hemp  plants  are  cut  the  grower  goes  through  the  field  and 
marks  the  plants  from  which  seed  is  to  be  saved  for  the  seed 
crop  of  the  following  year.  Plants  are  usually  selected  for 
height,  lateness,  and  length  of  internodes.     Continued  selec- 

Yearbook  U.  S.  Dept.  of  Agriculture,  1913. 

Plate  XL. 

Hemp,  Plant  ano  Fiber. 

Fig    1  — l'istillateplant,  left;  staminateplant,  right.    Fig.  2.— Staminate  flowers.    Fig.  3.— Pis- 
tillate flowers.    Fig.  4.— Fiber  in  the  form  in  which  it  leaves  the  farm. 

Yearbook  U.  S.  Dept.  of  Agriculture,  1913. 

Plate  XLI. 

Details  of  Hemp  Plant. 

Fig  1 —Leaf,  one-third  nalural  size.  Fig.  2.— Seeds,  natural  size.  Fie.  3.— Roots,  showing 
strong  taproot.  Fig.  4.— Sections  of  stalk,  showing  woody  shell  slightly  thickened  at  the 

Yearbook  U.  S.  Dept.  of  Agriculture,  1913. 

Plate  XLM. 

Different  Types  of  Hemp  and  Seed  Hemp. 

Fig.  1.— Manchurian  oil-seed  hemp.  Fig.  2.— India  drug-producing  hemp  on  left;  Kentucky 
fiber-producing  hemp  in  seed  rows  on  right.  Fig.  3.— Hemp-seed  held  in  Kentucky  River 
Valley,  walled  in  with  ledges  of  lime  rock. 

Yearbook  U.  S.  Dept.  of  Agriculture,  1913. 

Plate  XLIII. 

Seed  Hemp  and  Maladies. 

Fig.  1.— Shock  of  seed  hemp  curing.    Fig.  2.— Seed-hemp  plant  attacked  by  fungus  disease. 
F'ig.  3.— Branched  broom  rape,  parasitic  on  hemp  roots. 



tion  in  this  manner  will  improve  the  type.  Without  selection 
continued  each  season,  the  general  average  of  the  crop 


Hemp  requires  a  humid  temperate  climate,  such  as  that 
throughout  the  greater  part  of  the  Mississippi  Valley.  It 
has  been  grown  experimentally  as  far  north  as  Saskatoon, 
in  northwestern  Canada,  and  as  far  south  as  New  Orleans, 
La.,  and  Brunswick,  Ga. 


The  best  fiber-producing  types  of  hemp  require  about 
four  months  free  from  killing  frosts  for  the  production  of 
fiber  and  about  five  and  one-half  months  for  the  full  maturity 
of  the  seeds.  The  climatic  conditions  during  the  four 
months  of  the  hemp-growing  season  in  the  region  about 
Lexington,  Ky.,  are  indicated  by  the  following  table: 

Temperature  and  rainfall  in  the  hemp-growing  region  of  Kentucky.1 





























7.  J 




'  Henry,  Alfred  Judson.    Climatology  of  the  United  States.    U.  S.  Department  of  Agricul- 
ture, Weather  Bureau,  Bulletin  Q,  p.  762, 1906. 

Hemp  grows  best  where  the  temperature  ranges  between 
60°  and  80°  F.,  but  it  will  endure  colder  and  warmer  tempera- 
tures. Young  seedlings  and  also  mature  plants  will  endure 
with  little  injury  light  frosts  of  short  duration.  Young 
hemp  is  less  susceptible  than  oats  to  injury  from  frost,  and 
fields  of  hemp  ready  for  harvest  have  been  uninjured  by  frosts 
which  ruined  fields  of  corn  all  around  them.  Frosts  are 
injurious  to  nearly  mature  plants  cultivated  for  seed  pro- 

27306°— ybk  1913 


306  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 


Hemp  requires  a  plentiful  supply  of  moisture  throughout 
its  growing  season,  and  especially  during  the  first  six  weeks. 
After  it  has  become  well  rooted  and  the  stalks  are  20  to  30 
inches  high  it  will  endure  drier  conditions,  but  a  severe 
drought  hastens  its  maturity  and  tends  to  dwarf  its  growth. 
It  will  endure  heavy  rains,  or  even  a  flood  of  short  duration, 
on  light,  well-drained  soils,  but  on  heavy,  impervious' soils 
excessive  rain,  especially  when  the  plants  are  young,  will 
ruin  the  crop. 

In  1903,  a  large  field  of  hemp  on  rich,  sandy-loam  soil  of 
alluvial  deposit,  well  supplied  with  humus,  near  Gridley,  Cal., 
was  flooded  to  a  depth  of  2  to  6  inches  by  high  water  in  the 
Feather  Kiver.  The  hemp  had  germinated  but  a  few  days 
before  and  was  only  1  to  3  inches  high.  The  water  remained 
on  the  land  about  three  days.  The  hemp  started  slowly 
after  the  water  receded,  but  in  spite  of  the  fact  that  there 
was  no  rain  from  this  time,  the  last  of  March,  until  harvest, 
the  last  of  August,  it  made  a  very  satisfactory  crop,  6  to  12 
feet  in  height.  The  soil,  of  porous,  spongy  texture,  remained 
moist  below  the  dustysurface  during  the  entire  growingseason. 

An  experimental  crop  of  about  15  acres  on  impervious  clay 
and  silt  of  alluvial  deposit,  but  lacking  in  humus,  in  eastern 
Louisiana  was  completely  ruined  by  a  heavy  rain  while  the 
plants  were  small. 

The  total  average  rainfall  during  the  four  months  of  the 
hemp-growing  season  in  Kentucky  is  15.6  inches,  as  shown  in 
the  table  on  page  305,  and  this  is  distributed  throughout  the 
season.  When  there  is  an  unusual  drought  in  that  region,  as 
in  1913,  the  hemp  is  severely  injured.  It  is  not  likely  to  suc- 
ceed on  upland  soils  in  localities  where  corn  leaves  curl 
because  of  drought  before  the  middle  of  August. 


In  1912,  and  again  in  1913,  crops  of  hemp  were  cultivated 
under  irrigation  at  Lerdo,  Cal.  The  soil  there  is  an  alluvial 
sandy  loam  of  rather  firm  texture,  but  with  good  natural 
drainage  and  not  enough  clay  to  form  a  crust  on  the  surface 
after  flooding  with  water.  The  land  is  plowed  deeply, 
leveled,  and  made  up  into  irrigation  blocks  with  low  borders 
over  which  drills  and  harvesting  machinery  may  easily  work. 

Hemp.  307 

The  seed  is  drilled  in  the  direction  of  the  fall,  so  that  when 
flooded  the  water  runs  slowly  down  the  drill  furrows.  Three 
irrigations  are  sufficient,  provided  the  seed  is  sown  early 
enough  to  get  the  benefit  of  the  March  rains.  The  fiber  thus 
produced  is  strong  and  of  good  quality. 


Cool,  moist  weather,  light  snows,  or  alternate  freezing 
and  thawing  are  favorable  for  retting  hemp.  Dry  weather, 
not  necessarily  free  from  rain  but  with  a  rather  low  relative 
humidity,  is  essential  for  satisfactory  work  in  breaking  hemp. 
The  relative  humidity  at  Lexington  in  January,  February, 
and  March,  when  most  of  the  hemp  is  broken,  ranges  from  62 
to  82  per  cent.  The  work  of  breaking  hemp  is  rarely  carried 
on  when  there  is  snow  on  the  ground.  The  work  of  collecting 
and  cleaning  hemp  seed  can  be  done  only  in  dry  weather. 



The  soil  in  most  of  the  hemp  fields  of  Kentucky  is  of  a  yel- 
lowish clay  loam,  often  very  dark  as  a  result  of  decaying 
vegetable  matter,  and  most  of  it  overlying  either  Lexington 
or  Cincinnati  limestone.  There  are  frequent  outcroppings 
of  lime  rock  throughout  the  region.  The  soil  is  deep,  fertile, 
well  supplied  with  humus,  and  its  mechanical  condition  is 
such  that  it  does  not  quickly  dry  out  or  become  baked  and 
hard.     The  land  is  rolling,  affording  good  natural  drainage. 


In  eastern  Nebraska,  hemp  has  been  grown  on  a  deep  clay- 
loam  prairie  soil  underlain  with  lime  rock.  In  some  of  the 
fields  there  are  small  areas  of  gumbo  soil,  but  hemp:  does 
not  grow  well  on  these  areas.  In  California,  hemp  is  culti- 
vated on  the  reclaimed  lands  of  alluvial  deposits  in  the 
lower  valley  of  the  Sacramento  River.  This  is  a  deep  soil 
made  up  of  silt  and  sand  and  with  a  very  large  proportion 
of  decaying  vegetable  matter.  These  rich,  alluvial  soils, 
which  are  never  subject  to  drought,  produce  a  heavier 
growth  of  hemp  than  the  more  shallow  upland  soils  in  Ken- 
tucky. In  Indiana,  crops  of  hemp  have  been  grown  in  the 
Kankakee  Valley  on  peaty  soils  overlying  marl  or  yellow 
clay  containing  an  abundance  of  lime.     These  lands  have 

308  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

been  drained  by  large,  open  ditches.  :  There  is  such  a  large 
proportion  of  peat  in  the  soil  that  it  will  burn  for  months  if 
set  on  fire  during  the  dry  season,  yet  this  soil  contains  so 
much  lime  that  when  the  vegetation  is  cleared  away  Ken- 
tucky bluegrass  comes  in  rather  than  sedges.  It  is  an 
alkaline  rather  than  an  acid  soil.  The  large  amount  of  peat 
gives  these  soils  a  loose,  spongy  texture,  well  adapted  to 
hold  moisture  during  dry  seasons.  Water  remains  in  the 
ditches  6  to  10  feet  below  the  surface  nearly  all  summer, 
and  the  hemp  crops  have  not  been  affected  by  the  severe 
drought  which  has  injured  other  crops  on  the  surrounding 
uplands.  In  southeastern  Pennsylvania,  and  in  Indiana, 
Wisconsin,  and  Minnesota,  the  best  crops,  producing  the 
largest  yields  of  fiber  and  fiber  of  the  best  quality,  have 
been  grown  on  clay-loam  upland  soils.  In  some  instances, 
however,  the  upland  crops  have  suffered  from  drought. 


Hemp  requires  for  the  best  development  of  the  plant,  and 
also  for  the  production  of  a  large  quantity  and  good  quality 
of  fiber',  a  rich,  moist  soil  having  good  natural  drainage,  yet 
not  subject  to  severe  drought  at  any  time  during  the  grow- 
ing season.  A  clay  loam  of  father  loose  texture  and  con- 
taining a  plentiful  supply  of  decaying  vegetable  matter  or 
an  alluvial  deposit  alkaline  and  not  acid  in  reaction  should 
be  chosen  for  this  crop. 

■  )■  ■  -  ■ . 


Hemp  will  not  grow  well  on  stiff,  impervious,  clay  soils,  or 
on  light  sandy  or  gravelly  soils.  It  will  not  grow  well  on  soils 
that  in  their  wild  state  are  overgrown  with  either  sedges  or 
huckleberry  bushes.  These  plants  usually  indicate  acid  soils. 
It  will  make  only  a  poor  growth  on  soils  with  a  hardpan 
near  the  surface  or  in  fields  worn  out  by  long  cultivation. 
Clay  loams  or  heavier  soils  give  heavier  yields  of  strong  but 
coarser  fiber  than  are  obtained  on  sandy  loams  and  lighter 


Hemp  cultivated  for  the  production  of  fiber,  cut  before 
the  seeds  are  formed  and  retted  on  the  land  where  it  has 
been  grown,  tends  to  improve  rather  than  injure  the  soil. 
It  improves  its  physical  condition,  destroys  weeds,  and  does 
not  exhaust  its  fertility. 

Hemp.  309 


Hemp  loosens  the  soil  and  makes  it  more  mellow.  The 
soil  is  shaded  by  hemp  more  than  by  any  other  crop.  The 
foliage  at  the  top  of  the  growing  plants  makes  a  dense  shade 
and,  in  addition,  all  of  the  leaves  below  the  top  fall  off,  form- 
ing a  mulch  on  the  ground,  so  that  the  surface  of  the  soil  re- 
mains moist  and  in  better  condition  for  the  action  of  soil 
bacteria.  The  rather  coarse  taproots  (PI.  XLI,  fig.  3),  pene- 
trating deeply  and  bringing  up  plant  food  from  the  subsoil, 
decay  quickly  after  the  crop  is  harvested  and  tend  to  loosen 
the  soil  more  than  do  the  fibrous  roots  of  wheat,  oats,  and 
similar  broadcast  crops.  Land  is  more  easily  plowed  after 
hemp  than  after  corn  or  small  grain. 


Very  few  of  the  common  weeds  troublesome  on  the  farm 
can  survive  the  dense  shade  of  a  good  crop  of  hemp.  If  the 
hemp  makes  a  short,  weak  growth,  owing  to  unsuitable  soil, 
drought,  or  other  causes,  it  will  have  little  effect  in  checking 
the  growth  of  weeds,  but  a  good,  dense  crop,  6  feet  or  more 
in  height,  will  leave  the  ground  practically  free  from  weeds  at 
harvest  time.  In  Wisconsin,  Canada  thistle  has  been  com- 
pletely killed  and  quack-grass  severely  checked  by  one  crop 
of  hemp.  In  one  4-acre  field  in  Vernon  County,  Wis.,  where 
Canada  thistles  were  very  thick,  fully  95.  per  cent  of  the- 
thistles  were  killed  where  the  hemp  attained  a  height  of  5 
feet  or  more,  but  on  a  dry,  gravelly  hillside  in  this  same  field 
where  it  grew  only  2  to  3  feet  high,  the  thistles  were  checked 
no  more  than  they  would  have  been  in  a  grain  crop.  Some 
vines,  like  the  wild  morning-glory  and  bindweed  climb  up 
the  hemp  stalks  and  secure  light  enough  for  growth,  but  low- 
growing  weeds  can  not  live  in  a  hemp  field. 

HEMP     DOES     NOT     EXHAUST     THE     PEKTILITY     OF     THE     SOIL. 

An  abundant  supply  of  plant  food  is  required  by  hemp, 
but  most  of  it  is  merely  borrowed  during  development  and 
returned  to  the  soil  at  the  close  of  the  season.  The  amounts 
of  the  principal  fertilizing  elements  contained  in.  mature 
crops  of  hemp,  as  compared  with  other  crops,  are  shown  in 
the  accompanying  table. 


Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

Amounts  of  principal  fertilizing  elements  in  an  acre  of  hemp,  corn,  wheat, 
oats,  sugar  beets,  and  cotton. 


Hemp  (yielding  1,000  pounds  of  clean  fiber)  i . . 

Corn  (50  bushels  and  1 J  tons  of  stover)  2 

Wheat  (25  bushels  of  grain,  1J  tons  of  straw)  2. . 

Oats  (50  bushels  of  grain,  li  tons  of  straw)  2 

Sugar  beets  (20  tons  of  roots)  2. ..'. 

Cotton  (yielding  400  pounds  of  lint)  1 


Tic  acid. 





74  0 













1  Jaffa,  M.  E.    Composition  of  the  Ramie  Plant.    California  Experiment  Station  Bulle- 
tin, p.  94, 1891. 

2  Hopkins,  Cyril  G.,  and  Pettit,  James  H.    The  Fertility  in  Illinois  Soils.    Illinois  Exper- 
iment Station  Bulletin  123,  p.  189, 1908. 

The  data  in  the  table  indicate  that  hemp  requires  for  its 
best  development  a  richer  soil  than  any  of  the  other  crops 
mentioned  except  sugar  beetg.  These  other  crops,  except  the 
stalks  of  corn  and  the  tops  of  beets,  are  entirely  removed 
from  the  land,  thus  taking  away  nearly  all  the  plant  food 
consumed  in  their  growth.  Only  the  fiber  of  hemp  is  taken 
away  from  the  farm  and  this  is  mostly  cellulose,  composed 
of  water  and  carbonic  acid. 

The  relative  proportions  by  weight  of  the  different  parts 
of  the  hemp  plant,  thoroughly  air  dried,  are  approximately 
as  follows:  Roots  10  per  cent,  stems  60  per  cent,  and  leaves 
30  per  cent.1  The  mineral  ingredients  of  these  different 
parts  of  the  hemp  plant  are  shown  in  the  following  table: 

Ash  ingredients  of  the  leaves,  stalks,  and  roots  of  the  hemp  plant,  carbonic 
acid  excluded,  100  parts  dried  material  in  each  case.1 






Phosphoric  acid 

Sulphuric  acid 



Percentage  of  ash 

Leaves.      Stalks.       Roots. 














•  Peter,  Robert.    Chemical  Examination  of  the  Ash  of  Hemp  and  Buckwheat  Plants. 
Kentucky  Geological  Survey,  p.  12, 1884. 



The  foliage,  constituting  nearly  one-third  of  the  weight  of 
the  entire  plant  and  much  richer  in  essential  fertilizing 
elements  than  the  stalks,  all  returns  to  the  field  where  the 
hemp  grows.  The  roots  also  remain  and,  together  with  the 
stubble,  they  constitute  more  than  10  per  cent  of  the  total 
weight  and  contain  approximately  the  same  proportions  of 
fertilizing  elements  as  the  stalks.  The  leaves  and  roots 
therefore  return  to  the  soil  nearly  two- thirds  of  the  fertilizing 
elements  used  in  building  up  the  plant. 

After  the  hemp  is  harvested  it  is  spread  out  on  the  same 
land  for  retting.  In  this  retting  process  nearly  all  of. the 
soluble  ingredients  are  washed  out  and  returned  to  the  soil. 
When  broken  in  the  field  on  small  hand  brakes,  as  is  still  the 
common  practice  in  Kentucky,  the  hurds,  or  central  woody 
portion  of  the  stalk,  together  with  most  of  the  outer  bark,  are 
left  in  small  piles  and  burned,  returning  the  mineral  ingredi- 
ents to  the  soil.  Where  machine  brakes  are  used  the  hurds 
may  serve  an  excellent  purpose  as  an  absorbent  in  stock 
yards  and  pig  pens,  to  be  returned  to  the  fields  in  barnyard 

The  mineral  ingredients  permanently  removed  from  the 
farm  are  thus  reduced  to  the  small  proportions  contained  in 
the  fiber.  These  proportions,  calculated  in  pounds  per  acre 
and  compared  with  the  amounts  removed  by  other  crops,  are 
shown  in  the  following  table : 

Mineral  ingredients  removed  from  the  soil  by  hemp,  wheat,  corn,  and  tobacco, 
calculated  in  pounds  per  acre.1 


Hemp  fiber: 
In  800 

Wheat:  In 
20  bushels. 

Corn:  In 
50  bushels. 

In  1,000 


















Total  ash 





I  Peter,  Eobert.    Chemical  Examination  of  the  Ash  ol  Hemp  and  Buckwheat  Plants. 
Kentucky  Geological  Survey,  p.  17, 1884. 
>  Not  estimated. 

312  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

The  hemp  fiber  analyzed  was  in  the  ordinary  condition  as 
it  leaves  the  farm.  When  washed  with  cold  water,  removing 
some  but  not  all  of  the  dirt,  the  ashy  residue  was  reduced 
more  than  one-third,  and  the  total  earthy  phosphates  were 
reduced  nearly  one-half.  The  amount  of  plant  food  ac- 
tually removed  from  the  soil  by  hemp  is  so  small  as  to 
demand  little  attention  in  considering  soil  exhaustion.  The 
depletion  of  the  humus  is  the  most  important  factor,  but 
even  in  this  respect  hemp  is  easier  on  the  land  than  other 
crops  except  clover  and  alfalfa.  The  fact  that  hemp  is 
often  grown  year  after  year  on  the  same  land  for  10  to  20 
years,  with  little  or  no  application  of  fertilizer  and  very 
little  diminution  in  yield,  is  evidence  that  it  does  not  exhaust 

the  soil. 


In  Kentucky,  hemp  is  commonly  grown  year  after  year 
on  the  same  land  without  rotation.  It  is  the  common 
practice  in  that  State  to  sow  hemp  after  bluegrass  on  land 
that  has  been  in  pasture  for  many  years,  or  sometimes  it  is 
sown  as  the  first  crop  on  recently  cleared  timberland.  It 
is  then  sown  year  after  year  until"  it  ceases  to  be  profitable 
or  until  conditions  favor  the  introduction  of  other  crops. 
On  the  prairie  soils  in  eastern  Nebraska  and  also  on  the 
peaty  soils  in  northern  Indiana,  more  uniform  crops  were 
obtained  after  the  first  year;  On  some  of  the  farms  in 
California  hemp  is  grown  in  rotation  with  beans.  (  Hemp  is 
recommended  to  be  grown  in  rotation  with  other  farm  crops 
on  ordinary  upland  soils  suited  to  its  growth.  In  ordinary 
crop  rotations  it  would  take  about  the  same  place  as  oats. 
If  retted  on  the  same  land,  however,  it  would  occupy  the 
field  during  the  entire  growing  season,  so  that  it  would  be 
impossible  to  sow  a  field  crop  after  hemp  unless  it  were  a 
crop  of  rye.  The  growing  of  rye  after  hemp  has  been 
recommended  in  order  to  prevent  washing  and  to  retain  the 
soluble  fertilizing  elements  that  might  otherwise  be  leached 
out  during  the  winter.  This  recommendation,  however,  has 
not  been  put  in  practice  sufficiently  to  demonstrate  that  it  is 
of  any  real  value.  Hemp  will  grow  well  in  a  fertile  soil  after 
any  crop,  and  it  leaves  the  land  in  good  condition  for  any 
succeeding  crop.  Hemp  requires  a  plentiful  supply  of  fer- 
tilizing elements,  especially  nitrogen,  and  it  is  therefore  best 



to  have  it  succeed  clover,  peas,  or  grass  sod.  If  it  follows 
wheat,  oats,  or  corn,  these  crops  should  be  well  fertilized 
with  barnyard  manure.  The  following  crop  rotations  are 
suggested  for  hemp  on  fertile  upland  soils : 



Second  year. 

Third,  year. 



Fifth  year. 


Hemp  . . 

Grass  and  pasture. 


Sugar  beets,  pota- 
toes, or  onions. 
Peas  or  beans 


Barley  or 


Hemp  leaves  the  ground  mellow  and  free  from  weeds  and 
is  therefore  recommended  to  precede  sugar  beets,  onions, 
celery,  and  similar  crops  which  require  hand  weeding.  If 
hemp  is  grown  primarily  to  kill  Canada  thistle,  quack- 
grass,  or  similar  perennial  weeds,  it  may  be  grown  repeatedly 
on  the  same  land  until  the  weeds  are  subdued. 


Hemp  requires  an  abundant  supply  of  plant  food.  At- 
taining in  four  months  a  height  of  6  to  12  feet  and  pro- 
ducing a  larger  amount  of  dry  vegetable  matter  than  any 
other  crop  in  temperate  climates,  it  must  be  grown  on  a  soil 
naturally  fertile  or  enriched  by  a  liberal  application  of  fer- 
tilizer. In  Europe  and  in  Asia  heavy  applications  of  ferti- 
lizers are  used  to  keep  the  soils  up  to  the  standard  for  growing 
hemp,  but  in  the  United  States  most  of  the  hemp  is  grown 
on  lands  the  fertility  of  which  has  not  been  exhausted  by 
centuries  of  cultivation.  In  Kentucky,  where  the  farms  are 
well  stocked  with  horses  and  cattle,  barnyard  manure  is 
used  to  maintain  the  fertility  of  the  soils,  but  it  is  usually 
applied  to  other  crops  and  not  directly  to  hemp.  In  other 
States  no  fertilizer  has  been  applied  to  soils  where  hemp  is 
grown,  except  in  somewhat  limited  experiments. 

Barnyard  manure. — The  best  single  fertilizer  for  hemp 
is  undoubtedly  barnyard  manure.  It  supplies  the  three  im- 
portant plant  foods,  nitrogen,  potash,  and  phosphoric  acid, 
and  it  also  adds  to  the  store  of  humus,  which  appears  to  be 
more  necessary  for  hemp  than  for  most  other  farm  crops. 
If  other  fertilizers  are  used,  it  is  well  to  apply  barnyard 
manure  also,  but  it  should  be  applied  to  thfi  preceding  crop, 

314  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

or,  at  the  latest,  in  the  fall  before  the  hemp  is  sown.  It 
must  be  well  rotted  and  thoroughly  mixed  with  the  soil  be- 
fore the  hemp  seed  is  sown,  so  as  to  promote  a  uniform 
growth  of  the  hemp  stalks.  Uniformity  in  the  size  of  the 
plants  of  other  crops  is  of  little  consequence,  but  in  hemp  it 
is  a  matter  of  prime  importance.  An  application  of  coarse 
manure  in  the  spring,  just  before  sowing,  is  likely  to  result 
in  more  injury  than  benefit.  The  amount  that  may  be  ap- 
plied profitably  will  vary  with  different  soils.  There  is  little 
danger,  however,  of  inducing  too  rank  a  growth  of  hemp  on 
upland  soils,  provided  the  plants  are  uniform,  for  it  must  be 
borne  in  mind  that  stalk  and  not  fruit  is  desired.  On  soils 
deficient  in  humus  as  the  result  of  long  cultivation,  the  in- 
creased growth  of  hemp  may  well  repay  for  the  application 
of  15  to  20  tons  of  barnyard  manure  per  acre.  It  would  be 
unwise  to  sow  hemp  on  such  soils  until  they  had  been 
heavily  fertilized  with  barnyard  manure. 

Commercial  fertilizers. — On  worn-out  soils,  peaty  soils, 
and  possibly  on  some  alluvial  soils,  commercial  fertilizers 
may  be  used  with  profit  in  addition  to  barnyard  manure. 
The  primary  effect  to  be  desired  from  commercial  fertilizers 
on  hemp  is  a  more  rapid  growth  of  the  crop  early  in  the  season. 
This  rapid  early  growth  usually  results  in  a  greater  yield  and 
better  quality  of  fiber.  The  results  of  a  series  of  experiments 
conducted  at  the  agricultural  experiment  station  at  Lexing- 
ton, Ky.,  in  1889  led  to  the  following  conclusions:1 

(1)  That  hemp  can  be  raised  successfully  on  worn  bluegrass  soils  with  the 
aid  of  commercial  fertilizers. 

(2)  That  both  potash  and  nitrogen  are  required  to  produce  the  best 

(3)  That  the  effect  was  the  same,  whether  muriate  or  sulphate  waB  used 
to  furnish  potash. 

(4)  That  the  effect  was  about  the  same,  whether  nitrate  of  soda  or  sul- 
phate of  ammonia  was  used  to  furnish  nitrogen. 

(5)  That  a  commercial  fertilizer  containing  about  6  per  cent  of  available 
phosphoric  acid,  12  per  cent  of  actual  potash,  and  4  per  cent  of  nitrogen 
(mostly  in  the  form  of  nitrate  of  soda  or  sulphate  of  ammonia)  would  be  a 
good  fertilizer  for  trial. 

The  increased  yield  and  improved  quality  of  the  fiber  on 
the  fertilized  plats  compared  with  the  yield  from  the  check 
plat,  not  fertilized,  in  these  experiments  would  warrant  the 

i  Scovel,  M.  A.    Effect  of  Commercial  Fertilizers  on  Hemp.    Kentucky  Agricultural  Ex- 
periment Station,  Bulletin  27,  p.  3, 1890. 

Hemp.  315 

application  of  nitrogen  at  the  rate  of  160  pounds  of  nitrate 
of  soda  or  120  pounds  of  sulphate  of  ammonia  per  acre,  and 
potash  at  the  rate  of  about  160  pounds  of  either  sulphate  or 
muriate  of  potash  per  acre. 

On  the  rich  alluvial  soils  reclaimed  by  dikes  from  the 
Sacramento  Eiver  at  Courtland,  Cal.,  Mr.  John  Heaney  has 
found  that  an  application  of  nitrate  of  soda  at  the  rate  of 
not  more  than  100  pounds  per  acre  soon  after  sowing  and 
again  two  weeks  to  a  month  later,  or  after  the  first  applica- 
tion has  been  washed  down  by  rains,  will  increase  the  yield 
and  improve  the  quality  of  the  fiber. 

Leguminous  crops  or  green  manure. — Beans  grown 
before  hemp  and  the  vines  returned  to  the  land  and  plowed 
under  have  given  good  results  in  increased  yield  and  im- 
proved quality  of  fiber  on  alluvial  soils  at  Courtland,  Gal. 
Clover  is  sometimes  plowed  under  in  Kentucky  to  enrich  the 
land  for  hemp.  It  must  be  plowed  under  during  the  preced- 
ing fall,  so  as  to  become  thoroughly  rotted  before  the  hemp 
is  grown. 

Hemp  as  a  green  manure. — In  experiments  with  vari- 
ous crops  for  green  manure  for  wheat  in  India,  hemp  was 
found  to  give  the  best  results.1  In  exceptionally  dry  sea- 
sons, as  in  1908  and  1913,  many  fields  of  hemp  do  not  grow 
high  enough'  to  be  utilized  profitably  for  fiber  production. 
They  are  often  left  until  fully  mature  and  then  burned. 
Better  results  would  doubtless  be  obtained  if  the  hemp  were 
plowed  under  as  soon  as  it  could  be  determined  that  it  would 
not  make  a  sufficient  growth  for  fiber  production.  Mature 
hemp  stalks  or  dry  hurds  should  not  be  plowed  under,  because 
they  rot  very  slowly 


Hemp  is  remarkably  free  from  diseases  caused  by  fungi. 
In  one  instance  at  Havelock,  Nebr.,  in  a  low  spot  where 
water  had  stood,  nearly  3  per  cent  of  the  hemp  plants  were 
dead.  The  roots  of  these  dead  plants  were  pink  in  color 
and  a  fungous  mycelium  was  found  in  them,  but  it  was  not 
in  a  stage  of  development  to  permit  identification.  The 
fungus  was  probably  not  the  primary  cause  of  the  trouble, 
since  the  dead  plants  were  confined  to  the  low  place  and 

1  Report  of  Cawnpore  Agricultural  Station,  United  Provinces,  India,  for  1908,  p.  12. 

316  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture 

there  was  no  recurrence  of  the  disease  on  hemp  grown  in 
the  same  field  the  following  year. 

A  fungus  described  under  the  name  DendropTioma  mar- 
conii  Cav.  was  observed  on  hemp  in  northern  Italy  in  1887.1 
This  fungus  attacked  the  plants  after  they  were  mature 
enough  to  harvest  for  fiber.  Its  progress  over  the  plant 
attacked  and  also  the  distribution  of  the  infection  over  the 
field  were  described  as  very  rapid,  but  if  the  disease  is 
discovered  at  its  inception  and  the  crop  promptly  har- 
vested it  causes  very  little  damage. 

In  the  fall  of  1913  a  disease  was  observed  on  seed  hemp 
grown  by  the  Department  of  Agriculture  at  Washington. 
(PI.  XLIII,  fig.  2.)  It  did  not  appear  until  after  the  stage  of 
full  flowering  of  the  staminate  plants  and  therefore  after  the 
stage  for  harvesting  for  fiber.  A  severe  hailstorm  had 
bruised  the  plants  and  broken  the  bark,  doubtless  making 
them  more  susceptible  to  the  disease.  The  first  symptoms 
-aioted  in  each  plant  attacked  were  wilted  leaves  near  the 
ends  of  branches  above  the  middle  of  the  plant,  accompanied 
by  an  area  of  discolored  bark  on  the  main  stalk  below  the 
base  of  each  diseased  branch.  In  warm,  moist  weather 
the  disease  spread  rapidly,  killing  a  plant  10  feet  high  in 
five  days  and  also  infesting  other  plants.  It  was  observed 
only  on  pistillate  plants,  but  the  last  late-maturing  staminate 
plants  left  in  the  plat  after  thinning  the  earlier  ones  were 
cut  soon  after  the  disease  was  discovered.2 

In  a  few  instances  insects  boring  in  the  stems  have  killed 
some  plants,  but  the  injury  caused  in  this  manner  is  too 
small  to  be  regarded  as  really  troublesome. 

Cutworms  have  caused  some  damage  in  the  late-sown 
hemp  in  land  plowed  in  the  spring,  but  there  is  practically 
no  danger  from  this  source  in  hemp  sown  at  the  proper 
season  and  in  fall-plowed  land  well  harrowed  before  sowing. 

A  Chilean  dodder  (Cuscuta  racemosa)  troublesome  on 
alfalfa  in  northern  California  was  found  on  the  hemp  at 
Gridley,  Cal.,  in  1903.  Although  it  was  abundant  in  some 
parts  of  the  field  at  about  the  time  the  hemp  was  ready  for 
harvest,  it  did  hot  cause  any  serious  injury. 

1  Cavara,  Fridiano.    Appunti  di  Patologia  Vegetal.    Atti  dell'  Institute  Botanico  dell' 
Universita  di  Pavia,  s.  2,  v.  1,  p.  425, 1888. 

2  This  fungus  was  not  in  a  stage  permitting  identification,  but  cultures  for  further  study 
were  made  in  the  Laboratory  of  Plant  Pathology. 

Hemp.  317 

Black  bindweed  (Polygonum  convolvulus)  and  wild  morning- 
glory  (Convolvulus  sepium)  sometimes  cause  trouble  in  low, 
rich  land  by  climbing  tip  the  plants  and  binding  them 

The  only  really  serious  enemy  to  hemp  is  branched  broom 
rape  (Orobanche  ramosa) .  (PI.  XLIII,  fig.  3.)  This  is  a  weed 
6  to  15  inches  high,  with  small,  brownish  yellow,  scalelike 
leaves  and  rather  dull  purple  flowers.  The  entire  plant  is 
covered  with  sticky  glands  which  catch  the  dust  and  give  it 
a  dirty  appearance.  Its  roots  are  parasitic  on  the  roots  of 
hemp.  It  is  also  parasitic  on  tobacco  and  tomato  roots.1 
Branched  broom  rape  is  troublesome  in  Europe  and  the 
United  States,  but  is  not  known  in  Asia.  Its  seeds  are  very 
small,  about  the  size  of  tobacco  seed,  and  they  stick  to  the 
gummy  calyx  surrounding  the  hemp  seed  when  the  seed- 
hemp  plants  are  permitted  to  fall  on  the  ground  in  harvest- 
ing. There  is  still  more  opportunity  for  them  to  come  in 
contact  with  the  seed  of  hemp  grown  for  fiber.  The  broom 
rape  is  doubtless  distributed  more  by  means  of  lint  seed 
(seed  from  overripe  fiber  hemp)  than  by  any  other  means. 
When  broom  rape  becomes  abundant  it  often  kills  a  large 
proportion  of  the  hemp  plants  before  they  reach  maturity. 
As  a  precaution  it  is  well  to  sow  only  well-cleaned  seed  from 
cultivated  hemp  and  insist  on  a  guaranty  of  no  lint  seed.  If 
the  land  becomes  infested,  crops  other  than  hemp,  tobacco, 
tomatoes,  or  potatoes  should  be  grown  for  a  period  of  at 
least  seven  years.     The  seeds  retain  their  vitality  several 



All  of  the  hemp  seed  used  in  the  United  States  for  the 
production  of  hemp  for  fiber  is  produced  in  Kentucky. 
Nearly  all  of  it  is  obtained  from  plants  cultivated  especially 
for  seed  production  and  not  for  fiber.  The  plants  cultivated 
for  seed  for  the  fiber  crop  are  of  the  fiber-producing  type  and 
not  the  type  commonly  obtained  in  bird-seed  hemp.  Old 
stocks  of  hemp  seed  of  low  vitality  are  often  sold  for  bird 
seed,  but  much  of  the  hemp  seed  sold  by  seedsmen  or  dealers 
in  bird  supplies  is  of  the  densely  branching  Smyrna  type. 

i  Gannan,  H.  The  Broom-Rape  of  Hemp  and  Tobacco.  Kentucky  Agricultural  Experi- 
ment Station,  Bulletin  24,  p.  16, 1890. 

«  Garman,  H.  The  Broom-Rapes.  Kentucky  Agricultural  Experiment  Station,  Bulletin 
105,  p.  14, 1903. 

318  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 


In  some  instances  seed  is  saved  from  hemp  grown  for  fiber 
but  permitted  to  get  overripe  before  cutting.  This  is  known 
as  lint  seed.  It  is  generally  regarded  as  inferior  to  seed  from 
cultivated  plants.  A  good  crop  is  sometimes  obtained  from 
lint  seed,  but  it  is  often  lacking  in  vigor  as  well  as  germinative 
vitality,  and  it  is  rare  that  good  crops  are  obtained  from  lint 
seed  of  the  second  or  third  generation. 


Nearly  all  of  the  cultivated  seed  is  grown  in  the  valley 
of  the  Kentucky  River  and  along  the  creeks  tributary  to 
this  river  for  a  distance  of  about  50  miles  above  High  Bridge. 
The  river  through  this  region  flows  in  a  deep  gorge  about 
150  feet  below  the  general  level  of  the  land.  The  sides  of 
this  valley  are  steep,  with  limestone  outcropping,  and  in 
some  places  perpendicular  ledges  of  lime  rock  in  level  strata. 
(PI.  XLII,  fig.  3.)  The  river,  which  overflows  every  spring, 
almost  covering  the  valley  between  the  rocky  walls,  forms 
alluvial  deposits  from  a  few  rods  to  half  a  mile  in  width.  The 
seed  hemp  is  grown  on  these  inundated  areas,  and  especially 
along  the  creeks,  where  the  water  from  the  river  backs  up, 
leaving  a  richer  deposit  of  silt  than  along  the  banks  of  the 
river  proper,  where  the  deposited  soils  are  more  sandy. 
There  is  a  longer  season  free  from  frost  in  these  deep  valleys 
than  on  the  adjacent  highlands.  Instead  of  having  earlier 
frosts  in  the  fall,  as  may  be  usually  expected  in  lowlands, 
the  valley  is  filled  with  fog  on  still  nights,  thus  preventing 
damage  from  frost.  For  the  production  of  "hemp  seed  a 
rich,  alluvial  soil  containing  a  plentiful  supply  of  lime  and 
also  a  plentiful  supply  of  moisture  throughout  the  growing 
season  is  necessary.  The  crop  also  requires  a  long  season 
for  development.  The  young  seedlings  will  endure  light 
frosts  without  injury,  but  a  frost  before  harvest  will  nearly 
ruin  the  crop.  A  period  of  dry  weather  is  necessary  after 
the  harvest  in  order  to  beat  out  and  clean  the  seeds. 


The  land  is  plowed  as  soon  as  possible  after  the  spring 
floods,  which  usually  occur  in  February  and  early  in  March. 

Hemp.  319 

After  harrowing,  it  is  marked  in  checks  about  4  or  5  feet 
each  way.  Hemp  cultivated  for  seed  production  must  have 
room  to  develop  branches.     (PI.  XL,  fig.  1.) 


The  seed  is  planted  between  the  20th  of  March  and  the 
last  of  April — usually  earlier  than  the  seed  is  sown  for  the  pro- 
duction of  fiber.  It  is  usually  planted  by  hand,  5  to  7  seeds 
in  a  hill,  and  covered  with  a  hoe.  In  some  instances  planters 
are  used,  somewhat  like  those  used  for  planting  corn,  and  on 
some  farms  seeders  are  used  which  plant  1  or  2  drills  at  a 
time  4  or  5  feet  apart.  When  planted  in  drills  it  is  usually 
necessary  to  thin  out  the  plants  afterwards.  One  or  two 
quarts  of  seed  are  sufficient  to  plant  an  acre.  Less  than 
one  quart  would  be  sufficient  if  all  the  plants  were  allowed 
to  grow. 


On  the  best  farms  the  crop  is  cultivated  four  times — 
twice  rather  deep  and  twice  with  cultivators  with  fine  teeth, 
merely  stirring  the  surface.  When  the  first  flowers  are  pro- 
duced, so  that  the  staminate  plants  may  be  recognized,  all 
of  these  plants  are  cut  out  except  about  one  per  square 
rod.  These  will  produce  sufficient  pollen  to  fertilize  the 
flowers  on  the  pistillate,  or  seed-bearing  plants,  and  the 
removal  of  the  others  will  give  more  room  for  the  develop- 
ment of  the  seed-bearing  plants. 


The  seed-bearing  plants  are  allowed  to  remain  until  fully 
mature,  or  as  long  as  possible  without  injury  from  frost. 
They  are  cut  with  corn  knives,  usually  during  the  first  half 
of  October,  leaving  the  stubble  10  to  20  inches  high.  The 
plants  are  set  up  in  loose  shocks  around  one  or  two  plants 
which  have  been  left  standing.  The  shocks  are  usually 
bound  near  the  top  with  binder  twine.  They  are  left  in  this 
manner  for  two  or  three  weeks,  until  thoroughly  dry.  (PI. 
XLIII,  fig.  1.) 


When  the  seed  hemp  is  thoroughly  dry,  men  (usually  in 
gangs  of  five  or  six,  with  tarpaulins  about  20  feet  square)  go 

320  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

into  the  field.  One  man  with  an  ax  cuts  off  the  hemp 
stubble  between  four  shocks  and  clears  a  space  large  enough 
to  spread  the  tarpaulin.  The  other  men  pick  up  an  entire 
shock  and  throw  it  on  the  tarpaulin.  They  then  beat  off 
the  seeds  with  sticks  about  5  feet  long  and  1J  inches  in 
diameter.  (Pl.XLIV,fig.  1.)  When  the  seed  has  been  beaten 
off  from  one  side  of  the  shock  the  men  turn  it  over  by  means 
of  the  sticks,  and  after  beating  off  all  of  the  seed  they  pick 
up  with  the  sticks  the  stalks  in  one  bunch  and  throw  them 
off  the  canvas,  and  then  treat  another  shock  in  the  same 
manner.  They  will  beat  off  the  seed  from  four  shocks  in 
15  to  20  minutes,  securing  2  or  3  pecks  of  seed  from  each 
shock.  While  this  seems  a  rather  crude  way  of  collecting 
the  seed,  it  is  doubtless  the  most  economical  and  practical 
method  that  may  be  devised.  The  seed  falls  so  readily 
from  the  dry  hemp  stalks  that  it  would  be  impossible  to 
move  them  without  a  very  great  loss.  Furthermore,  it 
would  be  very  difficult  to  handle  plants  10  to  14  feet  high, 
with  rigid  branches  3  to  6  feet  in  length,  so  as  to  feed  them 
to  any  kind  of  thrashing  machine. 


The  seed  and  chaff  which  have  been  beaten  on  the  tar- 
paulin are  sometimes  beaten  or  tramped  to  break  up  the 
coarser  bunches  and  stalks,  and  in  some  instances  they  are 
rubbed  through  coarse  sieves  in  order  to  reduce  them 
enough  to  be  put  through  a  fanning  mill.  The  seed  is  then 
partly  cleaned  by  a  fanning  mill  in  the  field  and  afterwards 
run  once  or  twice  through  another  mill  with  finer  sieves  and 
better  adjustments  of  fans.  Even  after  this  treatment  it  is 
usually  put  through  a  seed-cleaning  machine  by  the  dealers. 
There  has  recently  been  introduced  on  some  of  the  best 
seed-hemp  farms  a  kind  of  homemade  thrashing  machine, 
consisting  essentially  of  a  feeding  device,  cylinder,  and  con- 
caves, attached  to  a  rather  large  fanning  mill,  all  being  driven 
by  a  gasoline  engine.  (PI.  XLIV,  fig.  2.)  The  hemp  seed 
is  fed  to  this  machine  just  as  it  comes  from  the  tarpaulin 
after  beating  off  from  the  shock.  It  combines  the  process 
of  breaking  up  the  chaff  into  finer  pieces  and  the  work  of 
fanning  the  seed  in  the  field,  and  it  performs  this  work  more 
effectively  and  more  rapidly. 

Yearbook  U.  S.  Dept.  of  Agriculture,  1913. 

Plate  XLIV. 

Collecting  Seed  and  Retting  Stalks. 

Fig.  l.— Beating  ofTsccd  from  an  entire  shock  of  seed  hemp.    Fig.  2.— Homemade  hemp  seed- 
cleaning  machine.    Fig.  3.— Spreading  fiber  hemp  for  retting. 

Yearbook  U.  S.  Dept.  of  Agriculture,  1913. 

Plate  XLV 

Cutting  Hemp. 

Fig.  1.— Cutting  hemp  by  hand,  about  three-fourths  acre  per  day.  Fig.  2.— Self-rake  reaper, 
mostly  used;  cuts  about  four  acres  per  day.  Fig.  3.— Mowing  machine  with  bar  to  bend  over 
hemp;  cuts  about  six  acres  per  day. 

Yearbook  U    S.  Dept.  of  Agriculture,  1913. 

Plate  XLVI. 

Breaking  Hemp. 

Fig.  1.— The  hand  brake,  cleans  about  100  pounds  of  fiber  per  day.    Fig.  2.— Shock  of  hemp 
tied  in  bundles  for  stacking.    Fig.  3.— Machine  brake  which  lias  produced  9,000  pounds  of 
fiber  in  one  day.    Fig.  4.— Machine  brake  which  separates  and  cleans  the  tow  and  the  lino 
fiber  at  the  same  time. 

Hemp.  321 


Under  favorable  conditions  the  yield  of  hemp  seed  ranges 
from  12  to  25  bushels  per  acre.  From  16  to  18  bushels  are 
regarded  as  a  fair  average  yield. 


The  hemp-seed  growers  state  that  it  costs  about  $2.50 
per  bushel  to  produce  hemp  seed,  counting  the  annual  rental 
of  the  land  at  about  $10  per  acre.  With  the  introduction 
of  improved  machinery  for  cleaning  the  hemp  this  cost  may 
be  somewhat  reduced,  since  it  is  estimated  that  with  the  ordi- 
nary methods  of  rubbing  the  seed  through  sieves  or  beating 
it  to  reduce  the  chaff  to  finer  pieces  the  cost  from  beating  it 
off  the  shock  to  delivering  it  at  the  market  is  about  50  cents 
per  bushel.  These  estimates  of  cost  are  based  on  wages  at 
$1.25  per  day. 


The  price  of  hemp  seed,  as  sold  by  the  farmer  during  the 
past  10  years,  has  ranged  from  $2.50  to  $5  per  bushel.  The 
average  farm  price  during  this  period  has  been  not  far  from 
$3  per  bushel.  Hemp  seed  is  sold  by  weight,  a  bushel 
Weighing  44  pounds. 



Fall  plowing  on  most  soils  is  generally  regarded  as  best 
for  hemp,  since  the  action  of  the  frost  in  winter  helps  to 
disintegrate  the  particles  of  soil,  making  it  more  uniform  in 
character.  In  practice,  hemp  land  is  plowed  at  any  time 
from  October  to  late  seeding  time  in  May,  but  hemp  should 
never  be  sown  on  spring-plowed  sod.  The  land  should  be 
plowed  8  or  9  inches  in  order  to  give  a  deep  seed  bed  and 
opportunity  for  root  development.  Plowing  either  around 
the  field  or  from  the  center  is  recommended,  since  back  fur- 
rows and  dead  furrows  will  result  in  uneven  moisture  condi- 
tions and  more  uneven  hemp.  Before  sowing,  the  land  is 
harrowed  to  make  a  mellow  seed  bed  and  uniform  level  sur- 
face. Sometimes  this  harrowing  is  omitted,  especially 
when  hemp  is  grown  on  stubble  ground  plowed  just  before 
seeding.     Harrowing  or  leveling  in  some  manner  is  recom- 

27306°— YBK  1913 21 

322  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

mended  at  all  times,  in  order  to  secure  conditions  for  cover- 
ing the  seed  at  a  uniform  depth  and  also  to  facilitate  close 
cutting  at  harvest  time. 



Hemp  seed  should  be  sown  as  uniformly  as  possible  all 
over  the  ground  and  covered  as  nearly  as  possible  at  a  uni- 
form depth  of  about  three-fourths  of  an  inch,  or  as  deep  as 
2  inches  in  light  soils.  Ordinary  grain  drills  usually  plant 
the  seed  too  deeply  and  in  drills  too  far  apart  for  the  best 
results.  Uniform  distribution  is  sometimes  secured  by  drill- 
ing in  both  directions.  This  double  working,  especially  with 
a  disk  drill,  leaves  the  land  in  good  condition.  Ordinary 
grain  drills  do  not  have  a  feed  indicator  for  hemp  seed,  but 
they  may  be  readily  calibrated,  and  this  should  be  done  be- 
fore running  the  risk  of  sowing  too  much  or  too  little.  Fill 
the  seed  box  with  hemp  seed,  spread  a  canvas  under  the 
feeding  tubes,  set  the  indicator  at  a  little  less  than  one-half 
bushel  per  acre  for  wheat,  and  turn  the  drivewheel  as  many 
times  as  it  would  turn  in  sowing  one- tenth  acre;  then  weigh 
the  seed  that  has  fallen  on  the  canvas.  If  the  land  is  to  be 
drilled  in  both  directions,  one-half  bushel  each  way,  the  drill 
should  feed  2.2  pounds  for  one-tenth  acre.  One  method 
giving  good  results  is  to  remove  the  lower  sections  of  the 
feeding  tubes  on  grain  drills  and  place  a  flat  board  so  that  the 
hemp  seed  falling  against  it  will  be  more  evenly  distributed, 
the  seed  being  covered  either  by  the  shoes  of  the  drill  or  by 
a  light  harrow.  Good  results  are  obtained  with  disk  drills, 
roller  press  drills,  and  also  with  the  end-gate  broadcast 
seeder.  Drills  made  especially  for  sowing  hemp  seed  are  now 
on  the  market,  and  they  are  superseding  all  other  methods 
oi  sowing  hemp  seed  in  Kentucky.  Rolling  after  seeding  is 
advised,  in  order  to  pack  the  soil  about  the  seed  and  to  se- 
cure a  smooth  surface  for  cutting,  but  rolling  is  not  recom- 
mended for  soils  where  it  is  known  to  have  an  injurious 


Hemp  is  sown  at  the  rate  of  about  3  pecks  (33  pounds) 
per  acre.  On  especially  rich  soil  1J  bushels  may  be  sown 
with  good  results,  and  on  poor  land  that  will  not  support  a 

Hemp.  323 

dense,  heavy  crop  a  smaller  amount  is  recommended.  If 
conditions  are  favorable  and  the  seed  germinates  98  to  100 
per  cent,  3  pecks  are  usually  sufficient. 

When  kept  dry,  hemp  seed  retains  its  germinative  vitality 
well  for  at  least  three  or  four  years,  but  different  lots  have 
been  found  to  vary  from  35  to  1 00  per  cent,  and  it  is  always 
well  to  test  the  seed  before  sowing. 


In  Kentucky,  hemp  seed  is  sown  from  the  last  of  March  to 
the  last  of  May.  The  best  results  are  usually  obtained  from 
April  seeding.  Later  seedings  may  be  successful  when  there 
is  a  plentiful  rainfall  in  June.  In  Nebraska,  hemp  seed  was 
sown  in  April,  May,  or  sometimes  as  late  as  June.  In  Cali- 
fornia it  is  sown  in  February  or  March;  in  Indiana  and  Wis- 
consin, in  May.  In  general,  the  best  time  for  sowing  hemp 
seed  is  just  before  the  time  for  sowing  oats  in  any  given 

After  the  seed  is  sown,  the  hemp  crop  requires  no  further 
care  or  attention  until  the  time  of  harvest. 



In  California,  hemp  is  cut  late  in  July  or  in  August;  in 
Kentucky,  Indiana,  and  Wisconsin  it  is  cut  in  September. 
The  hemp  should  be  cut  when  the  staminate  plants  are  in 
full  flower  and  the  pollen  is  flying.  If  cut  earlier,  the  fiber 
will  be  finer  and  softer  but  also  weaker  and  less  in  quantity. 
If  permitted  to  become  overripe,  the  fiber  will  be  coarse, 
harsh,  and  less  pliable,  and  it  will  be  impossible  to  ret  the 
stalks  properly. 



In  Kentucky,  a  small  portion  of  the  hemp  crop  is  still 
cut  by  hand  with  a  reaping  knife  or  hemp  hook.  (PI.  XL V, 
fig.  1.)  This  knife  is  somewhat  similar  to  a  long-handled 
corn  cutter.  The  man  cutting  the  hemp  pulls  an  armful  of 
stalks  toward  him  with  his  left  arm  and  cuts  them  off  as  near 
the  base  as  possible  by  drawing  the  knife  close  to  the  ground; 
he  then  lays  the  stalks  on  the  ground  in  a  smooth,  even  row, 

324  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

with  the  butts  toward  him,  that  is,  toward  the  uncut  hemp. 
An  experienced  hand  will  cut  with  a  reaping  knife  about  three- 
fourths  of  an  acre  a  day.  The  hemp  stalks  are  allowed  to 
lie  on  the  ground  until  dry,  when  they  are  raked  up  by  hand 
and  set  up  in  shocks  until  time  to  spread  for  retting. 


Sweep-rake  reapers  are  being  used  in  increasing  numbers 
for  harvesting  hemp  in  Kentucky  and  in  all  other  localities 
where  hemp  is  raised.  (PI.  XLV,  fig.  2.)  While  not  entirely 
satisfactory,  they  are  being  improved  and  strengthened  so 
as  to  be  better  adapted  for  heavy  work.  Three  men,  one  to 
grind  sections,  one  to  drive,  and  one  to  attend  to  the  machine, 
and  four  strong  horses  or  mules  are  required  in  cutting  hemp 
with  a  reaper.  Under  favorable  conditions,  from  5  to  7 
acres  per  day  can  be  cut  in  this  manner.  This  more  rapid 
work  makes  it  possible  to  harvest  the  crop  more  nearly  at  the 
proper  time.  The  stalks,  after  curing  in  the  gavel,  are  set 
up  in  shocks,  usually  without  binding  into  bundles  unless 
they  are  to  be  stacked. 


In  some  places  hemp  is  cut  with  ordinary  mowing  ma- 
chines. (PI.  XLV,  fig.  3.)  A  horizontal  bar  nearly  parallel 
with  the  cutting  bar,  the  outer  end  projecting  slightly  for- 
ward, is  attached  to  an  upright  fastened  to  the  tongue  of  the 
machine.  This  bar  is  about  4  feet  above  the  cutting  bar  and 
about  20  inches  to  the  front.  It  bends  the  hemp  stalks  over 
in  the  direction  the  machine  is  going.  The  stalks  are  more 
easily  cut  when  thus  bent  away  from  the  knives  and,  further- 
more, the  bases  snap  back  of  the  cutting  bar  and  never  drop 
through  between  the  guards  to  be  cut  a  second  time,  as  they 
often  do  when  cut  standing  erect.  With  a  5J-foot  mowing 
machine  thus  equipped)  one  man  and  one  team  of  two  horses 
will  cut  6  to  8  acres  per  day..  The  work  is  regarded  as  about 
equal  to  cutting  a  heavy  crop  of  clover.  The  hemp  thus  cut 
all  falls  in  the  direction  the  machine  is  going,  the  tops  over- 
lapping the  butts  of  the  stalks.  The  ordinary  track  clearer 
at  the  end  of  the  bar  clears  a  path,  so  that  the  stalks  are  not 
materially  injured  either  by  the  horses  or  the  wheels  of  the 
machine  at  the  next  round. 

Hemp.  325 

The  hemp  stalks  are  then  left  where  they  fall  until  retted, 
or  in  places  where  the  crop  is  heavy  the  stalks  are  turned 
once  or  twice  to  secure  uniform  curing  and  retting.  When 
sufficiently  retted  the  stalks  are  raked  up  with  a  2-horse  hay- 
rake,  going  crosswise  of  the  swaths,  and  then  drawn,  like 
hay,  to  the  machine  brake.  This  is  the  most  inexpensive 
method  for  handling  the  crop.  It  is  impossible  to  make  clean, 
long,  straight  fiber  from  stalks  handled  in  this  manner,  and 
it  is  not  recommended  where  better  methods  are  practicable. 
It  is  worthy  of  more  extended  use,  however,  for  handling 
short  and  irregular  hemp,  and  hundreds  of  acres  of  hemp  now 
burned  in  Kentucky  because  it  is  too  short  to  be  treated  in 
the  regular  manner  might  be  handled  with  profit  by  this 
method.  There  may  be  nearly  as  much  profit  in  3J-cent 
fiber  produced  at  a  cost  of  2  cents  per  pound  as  in  5-cent 
fiber  produced  at  a  cost  of  3  cents,  provided  the  land  rent  is 
not  too  large  an  item  of  cost. 


The  most  satisfactory  hemp-harvesting  machines  now  in 
use  are  the  self-rake  reapers,  made  especially  for  this  pur- 
pose. They  are  just. about  as  satisfactory  for  hemp  now  as 
the  similar  machines  for  wheat  and  oats  were  30  years  ago. 
More  efficient  harvesting  machinery  is  needed  to  bring  the 
handling  of  this  crop  up  to  present  methods  in  harvesting 
corn  or  small  grain.  A  machine  is  needed  which  will  cut  the 
stalks  close  to  the  ground,  deliver  them  straight  and  not 
bruised  or  broken,  with  the  butts  even,  and  bound  in  bundles 
about  8  inches  in  diameter.  A  modified  form  of  the  upright 
corn  binder,  arranged  to  cut  a  swath  about  4  feet  wide,  is  sug- 
gested. Modified  forms  of  grain  binders  have  been  tried, 
but  with  rather  unsatisfactory  results.  Green  hemp  8  to  14 
feet  high  can  not  be  handled  successfully  by  grain  binders; 
furthermore,  the  reel  breaks  or  damages  a  large  proportion  of 
the  hemp.  The  tough,  fibrous  stalks,  some  of  which  may  be 
an  inch  in  diameter,  are  more  difficult  to  cut  than  grain  and 
therefore  require  sharp  knives  with  a  high  motion. 

A  hemp-reaping  machine  is  also  needed  that  will  cut  the 
hemp  and  lay  it  down  in  an  even  swath,  as  grain  is  laid  with  a 
cradle.  The  butts  should  all  be  in  one  direction,  and  the 
swath  should  be  far  enough  from  the  cut  hemp  so  as  not  to 

326  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

be  in  the  way  at  the  next  round.  A  machine  of  this  type 
may  be  used  where  it  is  desired  to  ret  the  hemp  in  the  fall 
immediately  after  cutting.  It  might  be  used  for  late  crops 
in  Kentucky,  or  generally  for  hemp  farther  north,  where 
there  is  little  danger  of  "sunburn"  after  the  hemp  is  har- 


Hemp  stalks  which  are  to  be  stacked  are  bound  in  bundles 
about  10  inches  in  diameter,  with  small  hemp  plants  for 
bands,  before  being  placed  in  shocks.  (PL  XLVI,  fig.  2.) 
They  are  allowed  to  stand  in  the  shock  from  10  to  15  days, 
or  a  sufficient  length  of  time  to  avoid  danger  of  heating  in 
the  stack.  The  bundles  are  hauled  from  the  shocks  to  the 
stacks  in  rather  small  loads  of  half  a  ton  or  less  on  a  low 
rack  or  sled.  Three  men  with  a  team  and  low  wagon  to  haul 
the  stalks  can  put  up  two  hemp  stacks  of  about  8  tons  each 
in  a  day. 

A  hemp  stack  must  be  built  to  shed  water.  It  is  started 
much  like  a  grain  stack  with  a  shock,  around  which  the  bun- 
dles are  placed  in  tiers,  with  the  butts  sloping  downward  and 
outward.  The  stack  is  kept  higher  in  the  center  and  each 
succeeding  outer  tier  projects  slightly  to  a  height  of  5  or  6 
feet,  when  another  shock  is  built  in  the  center,  around  which 
the  bundles  are  carefully  placed  to  shed  water  and  the  peak 
capped  with  an  upright  bundle.  A  well-built  stack  may  be 
kept  four  or  five  years  without  injury. 

Hemp  which  has  been  stacked  rets  more  quickly  and  more 
evenly,  the  fiber  is  usually  of  better  quality,  and  the  yield 
of  fiber  is  usually  greater  than  from  hemp  retted  directly 
from  the  shock.  Hemp  is  stacked  before  retting,  but  not 
after  retting  in  Kentucky.  Stacking  retted  hemp  stalks  for 
storage  before  breaking  is  not  recommended  in  climates 
where  there  is  danger  of  gathering  moisture.  Retted  stalks 
may  be  stored  in  sheds  where  they  will  be  kept  dry. 


Hemp  stalks  must  be  kept  straight,  unbroken,  and  with 
the  butts  even.  They  must  be  handled  with  greater  care 
than  is  commonly  exercised  in  handling  grain  crops.  When 
a  bunch  of  loose  stalks  is  picked  up  at  any  stage  of  the  opera- 
tion, it  is  chucked  down  on  the  butts  to  make  them  even. 
The  loose  stalks,  or  bundles,  are  handled  by  hand  and  not 

Hemp.  327 

with  pitchforks.     The  only  tool  used  in  handling  the  stalks 
is  a  hook  or  rake,  in  gathering  them  up  from  the  swath. 


Retting  is  a  process  in  which  the  gums  surrounding  the 
fibers  and  binding  them  together  are  partly  dissolved  and 
removed.  It  permits  the  fiber  to  be  separated  from  the 
woody  inner  portion  of  the  stalk  and  from  the  thin  outer  bark, 
and  it  also  removes  soluble  materials  which  would  cause  rapid 
decomposition  if  left  with  the  fiber.  Two  methods  of  retting 
are  practiced  commercially,  viz,  dew  retting  and  water  retting. 


In  this  country  dew  retting  is  practiced  almost  exclusively. 
The  hemp  is  spread  on  the  ground  in  thin,  even  rows,  so  that 
it  will  all  be  uniformly  exposed  to  the  weather.  In  spreading 
hemp  the  workman  takes  an  armful  of  stalks  and,  walking 
backward,  slides  them  sidewise  from  his  knee,  so  that  the  butts 
are  all  even  in  one  direction  and  the  layer  is  not  more  than 
three  stalks  in  thickness.  (PI.  XLIV,  fig.  3.)  This  work  is 
usually  paid  for  at  the  rate  of  $1  per  acre,  and  experienced 
hands  will  average  more  than  1  acre  per  day.  The  hemp  is 
left  on  the  ground  from  four  weeks  to  four  months.  Warm, 
moist  weather  promotes  the  retting  process,  and  cold  or  dry 
weather  retards  it.  Hemp  rets  *apidly  if  spread  during  early 
fall,  provided  there  are  rains,  but  it  is  likely  to  be  less  uniform 
than  if  retted  during  the  colder  months.  It  should  not  be 
spread  early  enough  to  be  exposed  to  the  sun  in  hot,  dry 
weather.  Alternate  freezing  and  thawing  or  light  snows 
melting  on  the  hemp  give  most  desirable  results  in  retting. 
Slender  stalks  one-fourth  inch  in  diameter  or  less  ret  more 
slowly  than  coarse  stalks,  and  such  stalks  are  usually  not 
overretted  if  left  on  the  ground  all  winter.  Hemp  rets  well 
in  young  wheat  or  rye,  which  hold  the  moisture  about  the 
stalks.  In  Kentucky  most  of  the  hemp  is  spread  during 
December.  A  protracted  January  thaw  with  compara- 
tively warm  rainy  weather  occasionally  results  in  overret- 
ting.  While  this  does  not  destroy  the  crop,  ifc  weakens  the 
fiber  and  causes  much  loss.  When  retted  sufficiently,  so 
that  the  fiber  can  be  easily  separated  from  the  hurds,  or 
woody  portion,  the  stalks  are  raked  up  and  set  up  in  shocks, 
care  being  exercised  to  keep  them  straight  and  with  the 

328  Yearbook  of the  Department  of Agriculture. 

butts  even.  They  are  not  bound  in  bundles,  but  a  band 
is  sometimes  put  around  the  shock  near  the  top.  The  work 
of  taking  up  the  stalks  after  retting  is  usually  done  by  piece- 
work at  the  rate  of  $1  per  acre. 


Water  retting  is  practiced  in  Italy,  France,  Belgium,  Ger- 
many, Japan,  and  China,  and  in  some  localities  in  Russia. 
It  consists  in  immersing  the  hemp  stalks  in  water  in  streams, 
ponds,  or  artificial  tanks.  In  Italy,  where  the  whitest  and 
softest  hemp  fiber  is  produced,  the  stalks  are  placed  in  tanks 
of  soft  water  for  a  few  days,  then  taken  out  and  dried,  and 
returned  to  the  tanks  for  a  second  retting.  Usually  the 
stalks  remain  in  the  water  first  about  eight  days  and  the  sec- 
ond time  a  little  longer. 

In  either  dew  retting  or  water  retting  the  process  is  com- 
plete when  the  bark,  including  the  fiber,  readily  separates 
from  the  stalks.  The  solution  of  the  gums  is  accomplished 
chiefly  by  certain  bacteria.  If  the  retting  process  is  allowed 
to  go  too  far,  other  bacteria  attack  the  fiber.  The  develop- 
ment of  these  different  bacteria  depends  to  a  large  extent  upon 
the  temperature.  Processes  have  been  devised  for  placing 
pure  cultures  of  specific  bacteria  in  the  retting  tanks  and 
then  keeping  the  temperature  and  air  supply  at  the  best  for 
their  development.1  These  methods,  which  seem  to  give 
promise  of  success,  have  not  been  adopted  in  commercial 


Many  processes  for  retting  or  for  combined  retting  and 
bleaching  with  chemicals  have  been  devised,  but  none  of 
them  have  given  sufficiently  good  results  to  warrant  their 
introduction  on  a  commercial  scale.  In  most  of  the  chemical 
retting  processes  it  has  been  found  difficult  to  secure  a  soft, 
lustrous  fiber,  like  that  produced  by  dew  or  water  retting,  or 
completely  to  remove  the  chemicals  so  that  the  fiber  will  not 
continue  to  deteriorate  owing  to  their  injurious  action. 

One  of  the  most  serious  difficulties  in  hemp  cultivation  at 
the  present  time  is  the  lack  of  a  satisfactory  method  of  ret- 
ting that  may  be  relied  upon  to  give  uniform  results  without 
injury  to  the  fiber.     An  excellent  crop  of  hemp  stalks,  capa- 

•  Rossi,  Giacomo.    Macerazione  della  Canapa.    Animli  della  Regia  Scaola  Superlore  di 
Agriculture  di  Portici,  s.  2,  v.  7,  p.  1-148, 1907. 

Hemp.  329 

ble  of  yielding  more  than  $50  worth  of  fiber  per  acre,  may  be 
practically  ruined  by  unsuitable  weather  conditions  while 
retting.  Water  retting,  although  less  dependent  on  weather 
conditions  than  dew  retting,  has  not  thus  far  given  profitable 
results  in  this' country.  The  nearest  approach  to  commer- 
cial success  with  water  retting  in  recent  years  in  America  was 
attained  in  1906  at  Northfield,  Minn.,  where,  after  several 
years  of  experimental  work,  good  fiber,  similar  to  Italian 
hemp  in  quality,  was  produced  from  hemp  retted  in  water 
in  large  cement  tanks.  The  water  was  kept  in  circulation 
and  at  the  desired  temperature  by  a  modification  of  the 
Deswarte-Loppens  system. 


In  Japan,  where  some  of  the  best  hemp  fiber  is  produced, 
three  methods  of  retting  are  employed — dew  retting,  water 
retting,  and  steaming,  the  last  giving  the  best  results. 
Bundles  of  hemp  stalks  are  first  immersed  in  water  one  or 
two  days  to  become  thoroughly  wet.  They  are  then  secured 
vertically  in  a  long  conical  box  open  at  the  bottom  and  top. 
The  box  thus  filled  with  wet  stalks  is  raised  by  means  of  a 
derrick  and  swung  over  a  pile  of  heated  stones  on  which 
water  is  dashed  to  produce  steam.  Steaming  about  three 
hours  is  sufficient.  The  fiber  is  then  stripped  off  by  hand 
and  scraped,  to  remove  the  outer  bark.  The  fiber  thus  pre- 
pared is  very  strong,  but  less  flexible  than  that  prepared  by 
dew  retting  or  water  retting. 


Breaking  is  a  process  by  means  of  which  the  inner,  woody 
shell  is  broken  in  pieces  and  removed,  leaving  the  clean,  long, 
straight  fiber.  Strictly  speaking,  the  breaking  process 
merely  breaks  in  pieces  the  woody  portions,  while  their 
removal  is  a  second  operation  properly  called  scutching.  In 
Italy  and  in  some  other  parts  of  Europe  the  stalks  are 
broken  by  one  machine,  or  device,  and  afterwards  scutched 
by  another.  In  this  country  the  two  are  usually  combined 
in  one  operation. 


Hand  brakes  (PI.  XL VI,  fig.  1),  with  little  change  or  modifi-. 
cation,  have  been  in  use  for  many  generations,  and  even  yet 
more  than  three-fourths  of  the  hemp  fiber  produced  in 

330  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

Kentucky  is  broken  out  on  the  hand  brake.  This  simple 
device  consists  of  three  boards  about  5  feet  long  set  edgewise, 
wider  apart  at  one  end  than  the  other  and  with  the  upper 
edges  somewhat  sharpened.  Above  this  a  framework,  with 
two  boards  sharpened  on  the  lower  edges,  is  hinged  near  the 
wide  end  of  the  lower  frame,  so  that  when  worked  up  and 
down  by  means  of  the  handle  along  the  back  these  upper 
boards  pass  midway  in  the  spaces  between  the  lower  ones. 
A  carpenter  or  wagon  maker  can  easily  make  one  of  these 
hand  brakes,  and  they  are  sold  in  Kentucky  for  about  $5. 

The  operator  takes  an  armful  of  hemp  under  his  left  arm, 
places  the  butts  across  the  wide  end  of  the  brake  near  the 
hinged  upper  part,  which  is  raised  with  his  right  hand,  and 
crunches  the  upper  part  down,  breaking  the  stalks.  This 
operation  is  repeated  several  times,  moving  the  stalks  along 
toward  the  narrow  end  so  as  to  break  the  shorter  pieces, 
and  when  the  hemp  appears  pretty  well  broken  the  operator 
takes  the  armful  in  both  hands  and  whips  it  across  the  brake 
to  remove  the  loosened  hurds.  He  then  reverses  the  bundle 
and  breaks  the  tops  and  cleans  the  fiber  in  the  same  manner. 

The  usual  charge  for  breaking  hemp  on  the  hand  brake 
in  this  manner  is  1  cent  to  1^  cents  per  pound.  There  are 
records  of  400  pounds  being  broken  by  one  man  in  a  day, 
but  the  average  day's  work,  counting  six  days  in  a  week, 
is  rarely  more  than  75  pounds.  In  a  good  crop,  therefore, 
it  would  require  10  to  15  days  for  one  man  to  break  an  acre  of 
hemp.  The  work  requires  skill,  strength,  and  endurance, 
and  for  many  years  there  has  been  increasing  difficulty  in 
securing  laborers  for  it.  It  is  plainly  evident  that  the 
hemp  industry  can  not  increase  in  this  country  unless 
some  method  is  used  for  preparing  the  fiber  requiring  less 
hand  labor  than  the  hand  brake. 


Several  years  ago  a  brake  was  built  at  Eantoul,  111.,  for 
breaking  and  cleaning  the  fiber  rapidly,  but  producing  tow  or 
tangled  fiber  instead  of  clean,  straight,  line  fiber,  such  as  is 
obtained  by  the  hand  brake.  This  machine  consisted  essen- 
tially of  a  series  of  fluted  rollers  followed  by  a  series  of  beating 
wheels.  Machines  designed  after  this  type,  but  improved 
in  many  respects,  have  been  in  use  several  years  at  Havelock, 
Nebr.,  and  first  at  Gridley,  then  at  Courtland  and  Rio  Vista, 

Hemp.  331 

Cal.  These  machines  have  sufficient  capacity  and  are  oper- 
ated at  comparatively  small  cost,  the  hurds  furnishing  more 
than  sufficient  fuel  for  the  steam  power  required,  but  the 
condition  of  the  fiber  produced  is  not  satisfactory  for  high- 
class  twines  and  it  commands  a  lower  price  than  clean,  long, 
straight  fiber. 

The  Sanford-Mallory  flax  brake,  consisting  essentially  of 
five  fluted  rollers  with  an  interrupted  motion,  producing  a  rub- 
bing effect,  has  been  used  to  a  limited  extent  for  breaking 
hemp.  This  machine,  as  ordinarily  made  for  breaking  flax, 
is  too  light  and  its  capacity  is  insufficient  for  the  work  of 
breaking  hemp. 

A  portable  machine  brake  (PL  XL VI,  fig.  4)  has  been  used 
successfully  in  Kentucky  during  the  past  two  years.  It 
has  a  series  of  crushing  and  breaking  rollers,  beating  and 
scutching  devices,  and  a  novel  application  of  suction  to  aid 
in  separating  hurds  and  tow.  The  stalks  are  fed  endwise. 
The  long  fiber,  scutched  and  clean,  leaves  the  machine  at 
one  point,  the  tow,  nearly  clean,  at  another,  and  the  hurds, 
entirely  free  from  fiber,  at  another.  It  has  a  capacity  of 
about  1  ton  of  clean  fiber  per  day. 

Another  portable  machine  brake  has  been  in  use  in  Cali- 
fornia during  the  past  two  years,  chiefly  breaking  hemp  that 
has  been  thoroughly  air  dried  but  not  retted.  This  hemp, 
grown  with  irrigation,  becomes  dry  enough  in  that  arid  cli- 
mate to  break  well,  but  this  method  is  not  practicable  in 
humid  climates  without  artificial  drying.  The  stalks,  fed 
endwise,  pass  first  through  a  series  of  fluted  or  grooved 
rollers  and  then  through  a  pair  of  beating  wheels,  removing 
most  of  the  hurds,  and  the  fiber,  passing  between  three  pairs 
of  moving  scutching  aprons,  each  pair  followed  by  rollers, 
finally  leaves  the  machine  in  a  kind  of  continuous  lap  folded 
back  and  forth  in  the  baling  box. 

A  larger  machine  (PL  XLVI,  fig.  3),  having  the  greatest 
capacity  and  turning  out  the  cleanest  and  most  uniform 
fiber  of  any  of  the  brakes  thus  far  brought  out,  has  been  used 
to  a  limited  extent  during  the  past  eight  years  in  Kentucky, 
California,  Indiana,  and  Wisconsin.  This  machine  weighs 
about  7  tons,  but  it  is  mounted  on  wheels  and  is  drawn  about 
by  a  traction  farm  engine,  which  also  furnishes  power  for 
operating  it.  The  stalks  are  fed  sidewise  in  a  continuous 
layer  1  to  3  inches  thick,  and  carried  along  so  that  the  ends, 

332  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

forced  through  slits,  are  broken  and  scutched  simultaneously 
by  converging  revolving  cylinders  about  12  and  16  feet  long. 
One  cylinder,  extending  beyond  the  end  of  the  other,  cleans 
the  middle  portion  of  the  stalks,  the  grasping  mechanism 
carrying  them  forward  being  shifted  to  the  fiber  cleaned  by 
the  shorter  cylinder.  The  cylinders  break  the  stalks  and 
scutch  the  fiber  on  the  under  side  of  the  layer  as  it  is  carried 
along,  and  the  loosened  hurds  on  the  upper  side  are  scutched 
by  two  large .  beating  wheels  just  as  it  leaves  the  machine. 
The  fiber  leaves  the  machine  sidewise,  thoroughly  cleaned  and 
ready  to  be  twisted  into  heads  and  packed  in  bales.  This 
machine  with  a  full  crew  of  15  men,  including  men  to  haul 
stalks  from  the  field  and  others  to  tie  up  the  fiber  for  baling, 
has  a  capacity  of  1,000  pounds  of  clean,  straight  fiber  of 
good  hemp  per  hour.  The  tow  is  thrown  out  with  the  hurds, 
and  until  recent  improvements  it  has  produced  too  large  a 
percentage  of  tow.  It  does  good  work  with  hemp  retted 
somewhat  less  than  is  necessary  for  the  hand  brake,  and  it 
turns  out  more  uniform  and  cleaner  fiber.  For  good  work  it 
requires,  as  do  all  the  machines  and  also  the  hand  brakes, 
that  the  hemp  stalks  be  dry.  If  the  atmosphere  is  dry  at  the 
time  of  breaking,  the  hemp  may  be  broken  directly  from  the 
shocks  in  the  field,  but  in  regions  with  a  moist  atmosphere, 
or  with  much  rainy  weather,  it  would  be  best  to  store  the 
stalks  in  sheds  or  under  cover,  and  with  a  stationary  plant  it 
might  be  economical  to  dry  them  artificially,  using  the  hurds 
for  fuel.  Extreme  care  must  be  exercised  in  artificial  drying, 
however,  to  avoid  injury  to  the  fiber. 


While  hemp-breaking  machines  have  now  reached  a  degree 
of  perfection  at  which  they  are  successfully  replacing  the 
hand  brakes,  as  the  thrashing  machines  half  a  century  ago 
began  replacing  the  flail,  there  is  still  room  for  improvement. 
This  needed  improvement  may  be  expected  as  soon  as  hemp 
is  grown  more  extensively,  so  as  to  make  a  sufficient  demand 
for  machinery  to  induce  manufacturers  to  invest  capital  in 
this  line.  For  small  and  scattered  crops  a  comparatively 
light,  portable  machine  is  desirable,  requiring  not  more  than 
10  horsepower  and  not  more  than  four  or  five  laborers  of 

Hemp.  333 

average  skill  for  its  operation.  It  should  prepare  the  fiber 
clean  and  straight,  ready  to  be  tied  in  hanks  for  baling,  and 
should  have  a  capacity  of  at  least  1,000  pounds  of  clean  fiber 
per  day.  For  localities  where  hemp  is  grown  more  abun- 
dantly, so  as  to  furnish  a  large  supply  of  stalks  within  short 
hauling  distance,  a  larger  machine  operated  in  a  stationary 
central  plant  by  a  crew  of  men  trained  to  their  respective 
duties,  like  workers  in  a  textile  mill,  will  doubtless  be  found 
more  economical.  Artificial  retting  and  drying  may  also  be 
used  to  good  advantage  in  a  central  plant. 

The  hemp  growers  of  Europe  have  adopted  machine  brakes 
more  readily  than  the  farmers  in  this  country,  and  the  hemp 
industry  in  Europe  is  most  flourishing  and  most  profitable 
where  the  machines  are  used.  Most  of  the  hemp  in  northern 
Italy  is  broken  and  scutched  by  portable  machines.  Machines 
are  also  used  in  Hungary,  and  the  machine-scutched  hemp 
of  Hungary  is  regularly  quoted  at  $10  to  $15  per  ton  higher 
than  that  prepared  by  hand.  These  European  machines  may 
not  be  adapted  to  American  conditions,  but,  together  with 
American  machines  which  are  doing  successful  work,  they 
sufficiently  contradict  the  frequent  assertion  of  hemp  growers 
and  dealers  that  "no  machine  can  ever  equal  the  hand 


On  many  hemp  plantations  the  stalks  are  roughly  sorted 
before  breaking,  so  that  the  longer  or  better  fiber  will  be 
kept  separate.  The  work  of  sorting  can  usually  be  done 
best  at  this  point,  short  stalks  from  one  portion  of  a  field 
being  kept  separate  from  the  longer  stalks  of  another  por- 
tion and  overretted  stalks  from  stalks  with  stronger  fiber. 
Sometimes  the  men  breaking  the  hemp  sort  the  fiber  as  it  is 
broken.  An  expert  handler  of  fiber  will  readily  sort  it  into 
two  or  three  grades  by  feeling  of  it  as  it  leaves  the  hand  brake 
or  the  breaking  machine.  It  is  a  mistaken  policy  to  suppose 
that  the  average  price  will  be  higher  if  poor  fiber  is  mixed 
with  good.  It  may  be  safely  assumed  that  the  purchaser 
fixing  the  price  will  pay  for  a  mixed  lot  a  rate  more  nearly 
the  value  of  the  lowest  in  the  mixture,  and  he  can  not  justly 
do  otherwise,  for  the  fiber  must  be  sorted  later  if  it  is  to  be 
used  to  the  best  advantage  in  the  course  of  manufacture. 

334  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 


The  long,  straight  fiber  is  put  up  in  bundles,  or  heads,  4  to 

6  inches  in  diameter  and  weighing  2  to  4  pounds.     (PI.  XL, 

fig.  4.)     The  bundle  of  fiber  is  twisted  and  bent  over,  forming 

a  head  about  one-third  below  the  top  end.     It  is  fastened  in 

this  form  by  a  few  strands  of  the  fiber  itself,  wound  tightly 

around  the  neck  and  tucked  in  so  that  it  may  be  readily 

unfastened   without   cutting  or   becoming   tangled.     Three 

ropes,  each  about  15  feet  long,  twisted  by  hand  from  the 

hemp  tow,   are  stretched  on  the  ground  about  15  inches 

apart.     The  hanks  of  fiber  are  piled  crosswise  on  these  ropes 

with  the  heads  of  the  successive  tiers  alternating  with  the 

loose  ends,  which  are  tucked  in  so  as  not  to  become  tangled. 

When  the  bundle  thus  built  up  is  about  30  inches  in  diameter, 

the  ropes  are  drawn  up  tightly  by  two  men  and  tied.     These 

bundles  weigh  about  200  pounds  each.     Most  of  the  hemp 

leaves  the  farm  in  this  form.     Hemp  tow,  produced  from 

broken  or  tangled  stalks  and  fiber  beaten  out  in  cleaning  the 

long  straight  hemp,  is  packed  into  handmade  bales  in  the 

same  manner. 


In  Kentucky,  most  of  the  hemp  is  sold  by  the  farmers  to 
the  local  dealers  or  hemp  merchants.  The  hemp  dealers 
have  large  warehouses  where  the  fiber  is  stored,  sorted, 
hackled,  and  baled.  The  work  of  hackling  is  rarely  done  on 
the  farms.  The  rough  hemp  is  first  sorted  by  an  expert, 
who  determines  which  is  best  suited  for  the  different  grades 
to  be  produced.  A  quantity  of  this  rough  fiber,  usually  112 
or  224  pounds,  is  weighed  out  to  a  workman,  who  hackles  it 
by  hand,  one  head  at  a  time.  The  head  is  first  unfastened 
and  the  fiber  shaken  out  to  its  full  length.  It  is  then  combed 
out  by  drawing  it  across  a  coarse  hackle,  beginning  near  the 
top  end  and  working  successively  toward  the  center.  When 
combed  a  little  beyond  the  center,  the  bundle  of  fiber  is 
reversed  and  the  butt  end  hackled  in  the  same  manner. 
The  coarse  hackle  first  used  consists  of  three  or  four  rows  of 
upright  steel  pins  about  7  inches  long,  one-fourth  of  an  inch 
thick,  and  1  inch  apart.  The  long  fiber  combed  out  straight 
on  this  hackle  is  called  "single-dressed  hemp."  This  may 
afterwards  be  treated  in  much  the  same  manner  on  a  smaller 



hackle  with  finer  and  sharper  needles  set  closer  together, 
splitting  and  subdividing  the  fibers  as  well  as  combing  them 
out  more  smoothly.  The  fiber  thus  prepared  is  called 
"  double-dressed  hemp,"  and  it  commands  the  highest  price 
of  any  hemp  fiber  on  the  American  market. 

The  work  of  hackling  is  paid  for  at  a  certain  rate  per 
pound  for  the  amount  of  dressed  fiber  produced.  The  work- 
man therefore  tries  to  hackle  and  dress  the  fiber  in  such  a 
manner  as  to  produce  the  greatest  possible  amount  of 
dressed  fiber  and  least  amount  of  tow  and  waste.  The 
dressed  fiber  is  carefully  inspected  before  payment  is  made, 
and  there  are  few  complaints  from  manufacturers  that 
American  dressed  hemp  is  not  up  to  the  standard. 

A  large  proportion  of  the  hemp  purchased  by  the  local 
dealers  is  sold  directly  to  the  twine  and  cordage  mills  without 
hackling  or  other  handling  except  carefully  sorting  and 
packing  into  bales. 


The  bales  packed  for  shipment  are  usually  about  4  by  3  by 
2  feet.  The  following  table  gives  the  approximate  weights 
per  bale: 

Average  -weight  per  bale  of  hemp  for  shipment  to  mills. 

Class  of  hemp. 



Single  dressed 

Double  dressed . . . 

When  cleaned  by  machine  brakes  the  fiber  is  often  baled 
directly  without  packing  it  in  the  preliminary  handmade 
bales.  In  this  way  it  has  sometimes  escaped  the  process  of 
careful  sorting  and  has  brought  unjust  criticism  on  the  ma- 
chines. This  cause  for  criticism  may  easily  be  avoided  by 
exercising  a  little  more  care  in  sorting  the  stalks,  and,  if 
necessary,  the  cleaned  fiber. 


The  yield  of  hemp  fiber  ranges  from  400  to  2,500  pounds 
per  acre.  The  average  yield  under  good  conditions  is  about 
1,000  pounds  per  acre,  of  which  about  three-fourths  are  line 

336  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

fiber  and  one-fourth  is  tow.     The  yield  per  acre  at  different 
stages  of  preparation  may  be  stated  as  follows: 

Stalks:  Pounds. 

Green,  freshly  cut 15,  000 

Dry,  as  cured  in  shock 10,  000 

Dry,  after  dew  retting 6,  000 

Long  fiber,  rough  hemp 750 

Tow 250 

If  the  750  pounds  of  long  fiber  is  hackled  it  will  yield 
about  340  pounds  of  single-dressed  hemp,  180  pounds  shorts, 
140  pounds  fine  tow,  and  90  pounds  hurds  and  waste. 

The  average  yields  in  the  principal  hemp-producing  coun- 
tries of  Europe,  based  on  statements  of  annual  average 
yields  for  5  to  10  years,  are  as  follows: 


Russia 358 

Hungary 504 

Italy 622 

France 662 

The  yield  is  generally  higher  in  both  Europe  and  the 
United  States  in  regions  where  machine  brakes  are  used, 
but  this  is  due,  in  part  at  least,  to  the  better  crops,  for 
machine  brakes  usually  accompany  better  farming. 


The  operations  for  raising  a  crop  of  hemp  are  essentially 
the  same  as  those  for  raising  a  crop  of  wheat  or  oats  up  to  the 
time  of  harvest,  and  the  implements  or  tools  required  are 
merely  a  plow,  disk,  drill  or  seeder,  a  harrow,  and  a  roller, 
such  as  may  be  found  on  any  well-equipped  farm.  Esti- 
mates of  the  cost  of  these  operations  may  therefore  be  based 
upon  the  cost  of  similar  work  for  other  crops  with  which  all 
farmers  are  familiar.  But  the  operations  of  harvesting, 
retting,  breaking,  and  baling  are  very  different  from  those 
for  other  farm  crops  in  this  country.  The  actual  cost  will, 
of  course,  vary  with  the  varying  conditions  on  different 

Hemp  can  not  be  economically  grown  in  areas  of  less  than 
50  acres  in  any  one  locality  so  as  to  warrant  the  use  of  ma- 
chinery for  harvesting  and  breaking.  The  following  general 
estimate  is  therefore  given  for  what  may  be  considered  the 
smallest  practical  area: 

Hemp.  337 

Estimated  cost  and  returns  for  50  acres  of  hemp. 

Plowing  (in  fall)  50  acres,  $2  per  acre $100 

Disking  (in  spring),  50  cents  per  acre 25 

Harrowing,  30  cents  per  acre 15 

Seed,  40  bushels,  delivered,  $4.50  per  bus!iel 180 

Seeding,  40  cents  per  acre 20 

Rolling,  30  cents  per  acre 15 

Self-rake  reaper  for  harvesting 75 

Cutting  with  reaper,  $1  per  acre 50 

Picking  up  from  gavels  and  shocking,  $1  per  acre 50 

Spreading  for  retting,  $1.50  per  acre 75 

Picking  up  from  retting  swath  and  setting  in  shocks,  $1.40  per 

acre 70 

Breaking  50,000  pounds  fiber,  including  use  of  machine  brake, 

1J  cents  per  pound 750 

Baling  125  bales  (400  pounds  each),  including  use  of  baling  press, 

$1.40  per  bale 175 

Marketing  and  miscellaneous  expenses 150 

Totalcost 1,750 

Returns : 

Long  fiber,  37,500  pounds,  6  cents  per  pound 2,250 

Tow,  12,500  pounds,  4  cents  per  pound 500 

Total  returns 2,750 

It  is  not  expected  that  a  net  profit  of  $20  per  acre,  as  indi- 
cated in  the  foregoing  estimate,  may  be  realized  in  all  cases, 
but  the  figures  given  are  regarded  as  conservative  where  all 
conditions  are  favorable. 


All  of  the  hemp  produced  in  this  country  is  used  in  Ameri- 
can spinning  mills,  and  it  is  not  sufficient  to  supply  one-half 
of  the  demand.  The  importations  have  been  increasing 
slightly  during  the  past  20  years,  while  there  has  been  a 
decided  increase  in  values.  The  average  declared  value  of 
imported  hemp,  including  all  grades,  for  the  4,817  tons 
imported  in  1893,  was  $142.31  per  ton,  while  in  the  fiscal 
year  1913  the  importations  amounted  to  7,663  tons  with  an 
average  declared  value  of  $193.67  per  ton.  There  have  been 
some  fluctuations  in  quotations,  but  the  general  tendency 
of  prices  of  both  imported  and  American  hemp  has  been 
upward,  (Fig.  19.)  The  quotations  for  Kentucky  rough 
prime,  since  October,  1912,  have  been  the  highest  recorded 
for    this    standard    grade.     Furthermore,     the    increasing 

27306°— YBK  1913 22 




/a?g     /gag     /es*     /gas    /aae    /a97     t/ise    isss 

I9QO      got       /9QZ      /9Q3      /ao* 





Fio.  19.— Variation  in  market  quotations  of  American,  Russian,  and  Italian  hemp,  and  also  of  a  standard  high  grade  of  jute. 



demand  for  this  fiber,  together  with  the  scarcity  of  com- 
peting fibers  in  the  world's  markets,  indicates  a  continuation 
of  prices  at  high  levels. 


So  far  as  can  be  determined  from  records  of  importations 
and  prices  since  1880,  the  earliest  available  statistics,  the 
changes  in  the  rate  of  import  duty  on  hemp  have  had  no 
appreciable  effect  on  the  quantity  imported,  on  the  declared 
import  value1  of  the  fiber,  or  on  the  quantity  produced  or 
the  price  of  American  hemp  in  this  country.  (Fig.  20.)  The 
tariff  acts  of  1870,  1883,  and  1890,  in  force  until  1894,  im- 
posed a  duty  of  $25  per  ton  on  line  hemp.  From  1894  to 
1899  hemp  was  on  the  free  list,  and  from  1899  to  1913  it  was 
dutiable  at  $22.50  per  ton. 














































































k    60 
















Fio.  20.— Importations  and  average  Import  price  of  hemp  for  33  years,  together 
with  changes  in  the  rate  of  import  duty. 

The  importations  reached  a  high  level  in  1899,  when  hemp 
was  extensively  used  for  binder  twine.  From  that  year 
onward  henequen  from  Yucatan  and  abaca  from  the  Phil- 
ippines replaced  hemp  in  binder  twine,  while  jute  from  India 
replaced  it  completely  for  cotton-bale  covering.  The  increas- 
ing demand  for  hemp  for  commercial  twines  has  resulted 
in  higher  prices  for  both  imported  and  American  hemps,  but 
this  demand  has  been  met  in  this  country  neither  by  impor- 
tation nor  by  production.  There  are  no  accurate  statistics 
of  acreage  or  production  in  the  United  States,  but  there  has 
been  a  general  decline  from  about  7,000  tons  in  1880  to 
about  5,000  in  1913.  The  average  annual  production  dur- 
ing the  period  of  free  importations,  1894  to  1899,  was  about 
5,000  tons,  but  slightly  less  than  that  of  the  previous  10 

i  Declared  value  at  port  of  shipment. 

340  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

years  and  about  the  same  as  the  average  of  the  period  of  duti- 
able hemp  since  then. 

The  present  tariff,  1913,  with  hemp  on  the  free  list,  has  not 
been  in  force  long  enough  to  indicate  any  appreciable  effect. 


Some  hemp  from  the  larger  farms  is  sold  directly  to  the 
spinning  mills,  but  most  of  that  produced  in  this  country 
passes  through  the  hands  of  local  dealers  in  Kentucky.  The 
hemp  imported  is  purchased  either  directly  from  foreign 
dealers  by  the  mills  or  through  fiber  brokers  in  New  York 
and  Boston. 

b 'at'               mr       "^'"pj-                ~'                —'               »"               »*                *f                •'                -'                 "'                  *"                   *f 


^SM-^^-M^A  ■^Ia  ? 

L      L     T^rm^^-^tZZ 

^  —  * 

1/      7     r~f\^A^T~\\ J 

*  -I 

l\r^£H'  L  /3w~r~_r— -* 

rf-V/     f~/f    ~~~^— Jj^       n*    4^           1^: 

X         T— 

MT^SiOr^/  /  wXc     (rf\ 

5a  /  '\      /  / '     IP-*'*  Ji~t — 

h_<i*^?R  ^L^r5*"*^^!           ^* 

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w  i  |XJL-A*^" 

H      -at                        m* W        «*" 'J"f 

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Fig.  21. — Map  showing  areas  (shaded)  of  hemp  cultivation  and  location  (*)  of  hemp  spin- 
ning mills  to  the  United  States. 

There  is  one  twine  mill  at  Frankfort,  Ky.,  on  the  western 
edge  of  the  hemp-producing  region,  and  one  at  Covington, 
Ky.,  opposite  Cincinnati,  but  aside  from  the  comparatively 
small  quantities  used  by  these  mills  and  a  little  used  in  the 
mill  at  Oakland,  Cal.,  practically  all  the  hemp  fiber  is  shipped 
away  from  the  States  where  it  is  produced.  There  are  28 
mills  in  this  country  using  American  hemp,  most  of  them  in 
the  vicinity  of  Boston  or  New  York,  as  indicated  on  the 
accompanying  map1  (fig.  21).  Inmost  of  these  mills  other 
soft  fibers,  such  as  jute,  China  jute,  and  flax,  are  also  used, 

i  Some  of  the  mills  are  so  close  together  around  New  York  and  Boston  that  it  is  impossible 
to  indicate  each  one  by  a  separate  star. 

Hemp.  341 

and  many  of  them  are  also  engaged  in  the  manufacture  of 
twines  and  cordage  from  the  hard  fibers — sisal,  henequen, 
abaca  (manila),  phormium,  and  Mauritius. 


Hemp  is  used  in  the  manufacture  of  tying  twine;  carpet 
warp,  seine  twine,  sails,  standing  rigging,  and  heaving  lines 
for  ships,  and  for  packing.  It  has  been  used  to  some  extent 
for  binder  twine,  but  at  the  relative  prices  usually  prevailing 
it  can  not  well  compete  with  sisal  and  abaca  for  this  purpose. 
Binder  twine  made  of  American  hemp  and  India  jute  mixed 
has  been  placed  upon  the  market.  This  twine  is  said  to  give 
excellent  results  because  it  is  more  3mooth  and  uniform  than 
twine  made  of  hard  fiber.  The  hemp  fiber  is  tougher  and 
more  pliable  than  hard  fibers,  and  the  twine  is  therefore 
more  difficult  to  cut  in  the  knotter.  Hemp  is  also  used  to  a 
limited  extent  for  bagging  and  cotton  baling.  Only  the  tow 
and  cheaper  grades  of  the  fiber  can  compete  with  other  fibers 
for  these  purposes.  The  softer  grades  of  hemp  tow  are  ex- 
tensively used  for  oakum  and  packing  in  pumps,  engines,  and 
similar  machinery.  It  endures  heat,  moisture,  and  friction 
with  less  injury  than  other  fibers,  except  flax,  used  for  these 
purposes.  Hemp  is  especially  adapted  by  its  strength  and 
durability  for  the  manufacture  of  carpet  warp,  hall  rugs, 
aisle  runners,  tarpaulins,  sails,  upholstery  webbing,  belt 
webbing,  and  for  all  purposes  in  textile  articles  where 
strength,  durability,  and  flexibility  are  desired.  Hemp  will 
make  fabrics  stronger  and  more  durable  than  cotton  or 
woolen  fabrics  of  the  same  weight,  but  owing  to  its  coarser 
texture  it  is  not  well  suited  for  clothing  and  for  many  articles 
commonly  made  of  cotton  and  wool. 


The  principal  fibers  now  competing  with  American-grown 
hemp  are  Russian  and  Hungarian  hemp,  cotton,  and  jute. 
Italian  hemp,  being  water  retted,  is  not  only  higher  in  price 
but  it  is  different  in  character  from  the  American  dew-retted 
hemp,  and  it  is  used  for  certain  kinds  of  twines  and  the  finer 
grades  of  carpet  warp  for  which  American  hemp  is  not  well 
suited.  Twine  made  of  Italian  hemp  may,  of  course,  be  used 
sometimes  where  American  hemp  twine  might  serve  just  as 
well,  but  owing  to  its  higher  price  it  is  not  likely  to  be  used 

342  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

as  a  substitute,  and  it  can  not  compete  to  the  disadvantage 
of  American  hemp. 

Russian  and  Hungarian  hemp,  chiefly  dew  retted,  is  of  the 
same  character  as  American  hemp  and  is  used  for  the  same 
purposes.  Russian  hemp  is  delivered  at  the  mills  in  this 
country  at  prices  but  little  above  those  of  rough  hemp  from 
Kentucky.  Most  of  the  Russian  and  Hungarian  hemp  im- 
ported is  of  the  better  grades,  the  poorer  grades  being  re- 
tained in  Europe,  where  many  articles  are  made  of  low-grade 
hemp  that  would  be  made  of  low-grade  cotton  in  this  country. 

In  some  years,  owing  to  unsuitable  weather  conditions  for 
retting  Kentucky  hemp  or  to  greater  care  in  handling  Rus- 
sian hemp  and  to  care  in  grading  the  hemp  for  export  from 
Russia,  much  of  the  Russian  hemp  of  the  better  grades  has 
been  stronger  and  more  satisfactory  to  twine  manufacturers 
than  American  hemp  placed  on  the  market  at  approximately 
the  same  price.  It  is  used  for  mixing  with  overretted  and 
weak  American  hemp  to  give  the  requisite  strength  to  twine. 

Cotton  is  now  used  more  extensively  than  all  other  vege- 
table fibers  combined.  The  world's  supply  of  cotton  is  esti- 
mated in  round  numbers  at  5,500,000  tons,  valued  at  nearly 
$1,000,000,000.  The  total  supply  of  all  other  fibers  of  com- 
merce— hemp,  flax,  jute,  China  jute,  ramie,  sisal,  abaca,  phor- 
mium,  Mauritius  fiber,  cabuya,  mescal  fiber,  and  Philippine 
maguey — amounts  annually  to  about  3,300,000  tons,  valued 
at  about  $350,000,000.  Cotton,  therefore,  so  greatly  over- 
shadows all  other  textile  fibers  that  it  may  scarcely  be  re- 
garded as  competing  directly  with  any  one  of  them.  Cotton 
is  prepared  and  spun  on  different  kinds  of  machines  from 
those  used  for  preparing  and  spinning  long  fibers.  Cotton  is 
not  mixed  with  hemp  and  is  rarely  spun  in  the  same  mills 
where  hemp  is  used.  Cotton  twines  do,  however,  compete 
with  hemp  tying  twines,  and  cotton  is  largely  used  for  carpet 
warp,  where  hemp,  with  its  superior  strength  and  durability, 
would  give  better  service.  Less  than  a  century  ago  hemp 
and  flax  were  used  more  extensively  than  cotton,  but  the 
introduction  of  the  cotton  gin,  followed  by  the  rapid  develop- 
ment of  machinery  all  along  the  line  for  preparing  and  spin- 
ning cotton  fiber,  while  there  has  been  no  corresponding  de- 
velopment in  machinery  for  preparing  and  spinning  hemp  or 
other  long  fibers,  has  given  cotton  the  supremacy  among  veg- 
etable fibers.     There  is  little  probability  that  hemp  will  regain 

Hemp.  343 

the  supremacy  over  cotton,  even  with  improved  machinery 
for  handling  the  crop  and  spinning  the  fiber,  because  cotton 
is  better  adapted  to  a  wide  range  of  textile  products.  Hemp 
should,  however,  regain  many  of  the  lines  where  it  will  give 
better  service  than  cotton. 

Jute  is  the  most  dangerous  competitor  of  hemp.  Jute  is 
produced  in  India  from  the  bast  or  inner  bark  of  two  closely 
related  species  of  plants,  jute  (Corchorus  capsularis)  and 
nalta  jute  (Corchorus  olitorius).  These  plants  are  somewhat 
similar  in  appearance  to  hemp,  though  not  at  all  related  to  it. 
They  are  grown  on  the  alluvial  soils  in  the  province  of  Bengal, 
India,  and  to  a  much  less  extent  in  other  parts  of  India, 
southern  China,  and  Taiwan  (Formosa).  More  than  3,000,000 
acres  are  devoted  to  this  crop,  and  the  annual  production  is 
approximately  2,000,000  tons  of  fiber,  valued  at  $150,000,000. 
The  plants  are  pulled  by  hand,  water  retted  in  slow  streams 
or  stagnant  pools,  and  the  fiber  cleaned  by  hand  without  the 
aid  of  even  crude  appliances  as  effective  as  the  hand  brake  for 
hemp.  Jute  fiber  thus  prepared,  cleaner,  softer,  and  more 
easily  spun  than  Kentucky  rough-prime  hemp,  is  delivered 
in  New  York  at  an  average  price  of  about  4  cents  per  pound 
for  the  better  grades.  Jute  butts,  consisting  of  the  coarser 
fiber  cut  off  at  the  base,  5  to  10  inches  long,  are  sold  in  this 
country  at  1  to  2  cents  per  pound.  Most  of  the  long  jute 
fiber  comprising  the  "fight  jute"  grades  are  of  a  fight  straw 
color,  while  the  "dark  jutes,"  also  called  "desi  jute,"  are  of 
a  dark,  brownish  gray.  The  fresh  fiber  of  both  kinds  when 
well  prepared  is  lustrous,  but  with  age  it  changes,  to  a  dingy, 
brownish  yellow. 

Fresh  jute  fiber  is  about  two-thirds  as  strong  as  hemp  fiber 
of  the  same-  weight,  but  jute  lacks  durability  and  rapidly 
loses  its  strength  even  in  dry  air,  while  if  exposed  to  moisture 
it  quickly  goes  to  pieces.  It  is  not  suitable  for  any  purpose 
where  strength  or  durability  is  required. 

Jute  is  used  most  extensively  for  burlaps,  gunny  bags,  sugar 
sacks,  grain  sacks,  wool  sacking,  and  covering  for  cotton 
bales.  Hemp  has  been  used  for  all  of  these  purposes,  but 
the  cheaper  jute  fiber  now  practically  holds  the  entire  field 
in  the  manufacture  of  coverings  for  agricultural  products  in 
transit.  This  is  a  legitimate  field  for  jute,  where  it  consti- 
tutes a  "gift  package,"  generally  to  be  used  but  once,  but 
even  in  this  field  hemp  may  regain  some  of  its  uses  where  it  is 
found  that  jute  does  not  give  sufficient  strength  or  durability. 


Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

Jute  is  often  used  as  an  adulterant  or  as  a  substitute  for 
hemp  in  the  manufacture  of  twines,  webbing,  carpet  warp, 
and  carpets.  The  careless  use  of  the  name  hemp  to  indicate 
jute  aids  in  facilitating  this  substitution.  Twine  made  of 
pure  jute  fiber  is  sold  as  "hemp  twine"  in  the  retail  stores  in 
Lexington,  Ky.,  in  the  heart  of  the  hemp-growing  region. 
Many  of  the  so-called  hemp  carpets  and  hemp  rugs  are  made 
only  of  jute,  and  they  wear  out  quickly,  whereas  a  carpet 
made  of  hemp  should  be  as  durable  as  one  made  of  wool. 
Jute  is  substituted  for  hemp  very  largely  in  the  manufacture 
of  warp  for  carpets  and  rugs,  a  purpose  for  which  its  lack  of 
strength  and  durability  makes  it  poorly  fitted.  It  is  to  the 
interest  of  the  purchaser  of  manufactured  articles  as  well 
as  to  the  producer  of  hemp  and  the  manufacturer  of  pure 
hemp  goods  that  the  line  between  hemp  and  jute  be  sharply 
drawn.  Unfortunately,  the  difference  in  the  appearance  of 
the  fibers  by  which  they  may  be  distinguished  is  not  as 
strongly  marked  as  the  differences  between  their  strength 
and  wearing  qualities. 


There  are  no  satisfactory  tests  for  these  fibers  without  the 
aid  of  a  microscope  and  chemical  reagents.  A  ready,  but 
uncertain,  test  consists  in  untwisting  the  end  of  twine  or 
yarn.  Jute  fiber  thus  unwound  is  more  fuzzy  and  more  brit- 
tle than  hemp.  The  two  fibers  may  be  distinguished  with 
certainty  with  a  microscope  and  chemical  reagents,  as  indi- 
cated by  the  differences  in  the  table  which  follows: 

Reactions  of  hemp  and  jute.1 




Clean  fiber  dis- 

tinct  swelling. 

Greenish  blue  to 

Yellow  to  brown. 

pure  blue. 

Warming  in  weak  solution  of  nitric  acid 

Uniform   blue  or 

Prismatic  colors. 

and  potassium  chromate,  then  washing 


and  wanning  in  dilute  solution  of  soda 

ash  and  washing  again;  place  on  micro- 

scopic slide,  and  when  dry  add  drop  of 

glycerol.    Use  polariscope  (dark  field). 

i  Matthews,  J.  Merritt.    The  Textile  Fibers,  p.  349, 1908. 

Hemp.  345 

At  the  present  high  prices  of  jute  (fig.  4),  resulting  from 
increasing  demands  in  foreign  markets  and  a  partial  failure 
of  the  crop  in  India,  jute  could  not  compete  successfully  with 
hemp  were  it  not  that  manufacturers  are  using  it  in  estab- 
lished lines  of  goods,  and,  further,  that  they  are  uncertain 
about  securing  supplies  of  hemp. 


Hemp  is  one  of  the  oldest  fiber-producing  crops  and  was 
formerly  the  most  important. 

The  cultivation  of  hemp  is  declining  in  the  United  States 
because  of  the  (1)  increasing  difficulty  in  securing  sufficient 
labor  for  handling  the  crop  with  present  methods,  (2)  lack 
of  labor-saving  machinery  as  compared  with  machinery  for 
handling  other  crops,  (3)  increasing  profits  in  other  crops, 
(4)  competition  of  other  fibers,  especially  jute,  and  (5) 
lack  of  knowledge  of  the  crop  outside  of  a  limited  area  in 

Hemp  was  cultivated  for  fiber  in  very  early  times  in 

The  history  of  the  distribution  of  hemp  from  Asia  to  other 
continents  indicates  its  relationships  and  the  development  of 
the  best  fiber-producing  types. 

Hemp  is  cultivated  in  warm  countries  for  the  production 
of  a  narcotic  drug,  but  for  fiber  only  in  moderately  cool  and 
humid  temperate  regions. 

Very  few  well-marked  varieties  of  hemp  of  fiber-producing 
types  have  been  developed. 

The  climate  and  soils  over  large  areas  in  the  valley  of  the 
Mississippi  and  its  tributaries  and  in  the  Sacramento  and 
San  Joaquin  Valleys  in  California  are  suited  for  hemp. 

Hemp  improves  the  physical  condition  of  the  soil,  destroys 
weeds,  and  when  retted  on  the  ground,  as  is  the  common 
practice,  does  not  exhaust  fertility. 

Hemp  is  recommended  for  cultivation  in  regular  crop 
rotations  to  take  the  place  of  a  spring-sown  grain  crop. 

Fertilizers  are  not  generally  used  in  growing  hemp,  but 
barnyard  manure  applied  to  previous  crops  is  recommended. 

Hemp  is  rarely  injured  by  insects  or  fungous  diseases. 

Broom  rape,  a  root  parasite,  is  the  most  serious  pest  in 

346  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

Practically  all  of  the  hemp  seed  used  in  the  United  States 
is  produced  in  Kentucky. 

The  best  seed  is  obtained  from  plants  cultivated  especially 
for  seed  production,  but  some  seed  is  obtained  from  broad- 
cast overripe  fiber  crops. 

The  land  should  be  well  plowed  and  harrowed,  so  as  to 
be  level  and  uniform. 

The  seed  should  be  sown  early  in  spring  by  any  method 
that  will  distribute  and  cover  it  uniformly. 

Some  hemp  is  still  cut  by  hand  in  Kentucky,  but  the  use 
of  machinery  for  harvesting  the  crop  is  increasing. 

Dew  retting  is  regarded  as  the  most  practical  method  in 
this  country. 

Hand  brakes  for  preparing  the  fiber  are  still  used,  but  they 
are  being  replaced  by  machines. 

The  price  of  hemp  has  been  generally  increasing  during  the 
past  30  years. 

About  30  different  spinning  mills  in  the  United  States, 
beside  dealers  in  oakum  supplies,  offer  a  market  for  raw 
hemp  fiber. 

The  market  would  expand  if  manufacturers  could  be 
assured  of  larger  supplies. 

India  jute,  often  retailed  under  the  name  hemp,  is  the 
most  dangerous  competitor  of  hemp. 


By  A.  D.  Melvin, 
Chief  of  the  Bureau  of  Animal  Industry. 

IT  is  well  known  that  the  domestic  supply  of  meat  in  the 
United  States,  especially  of  beef,  has  in  recent  years 
shown  an  alarming  decrease,  so  much  so,  in  fact,  that  for  the 
first  time  in  our  history  it  has  become  necessary  to  look  to  the 
foreign  field  for  relief.  Certain  distant  countries,  having 
sparse  populations  and  vast  herds  and  flocks  combined  with 
abundant  natural  grazing  facilities,  have  now  taken  the  place 
of  the  United  States  as  the  world's  great  source  of  the  meat 
surplus.  South  America  and  the  Australian  colonies,  partic- 
ularly the  former,  have  in  the  last  decade  produced  immense 
quantities  of  beef  and  mutton  for  export,  and  already  ship- 
ments have  been  received  in  our  ports  from  these  places, 
mostly  of  beef  from  Argentina,  with  a  probability  that  the 
trade  will  soon  grow  to  considerable  proportions.  In  view 
of  these  fads,  and  pursuant  to  the  instructions  of  the  Secre- 
tary of  Agriculture,  an  investigation  of  the  South  American 
meat  inspection  and  meat  industry  was  made  by  the  writer 
in  the  late  summer  of  1913,  the  results  of  which,  together  with 
the  main  facts  connected  with  live-stock  conditions  and  the 
meat  trade  of  the  South  American  countries,  are  herewith 

The  investigation  was  undertaken  primarily  for  the  purpose 
of  ascertaining  at  first  hand  whether  the  meat  inspection  was 
adequate  and  whether  the  conditions  under  which  food  ani- 
mals were  slaughtered  and  the  meat  prepared  for  export  were 
such  as  would  reasonably  insure  that  the  product  was  sound 
and  healthful,  as  is  required  by  our  laws.  To  dispose  of  this 
point  at  the  outset  it  may  be  stated  that  the  official  inspection 
of  meat  for  export,  as  observed  at  the  various  establishments 
engaged  in  this  trade,  was  on  the  whole  satisfactory.  Some 
more  or  less  important  details,  however,  were  not  in  accord- 
ance with  the  practice  of  the  Federal  meat  inspection  as 
administered  by  this  bureau,  but  in  this  connection  it  should 



Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

be  said  that  the  chief  of  the  Argentine  Bureau  of  Animal 
Industry  was  very  desirous  of  having  the  inspection  brought 
up  to  a  standard  satisfactory  to  the  United  States  Govern- 
ment, and  it  was  stated  that  a  request  has  been  made  through 
the  Argentine  minister  at  Washington  that  an  inspector  of 
this  Government  be  sent  to  Argentina  to  instruct  the  inspec- 
tion authorities  there  in  detail  regarding  such  matters,  the 
Argentine  Government  agreeing  to  pay  his  expenses. 

Every  f acility  and  courtesy  was  extended  by  the  Argentine 
Government  in  connection  with  the  investigation,  free  rail- 
road transportation  was  provided,  and  a  veterinary  inspector 
of  the  Argentine  Bureau  of  Animal  Industry,  who  was  familiar 
with  English,  was  detailed  to  act  as  guide. 

The  Federal  Governments  of  both  Argentina  and  Uruguay 
maintain  veterinary  inspection  at  all  of  the  establishments 
exporting  fresh  meats,  the  Federal  inspection  being  confined 
to  animals  and  meats  intended  for  export.  Municipal  abat- 
toirs are  maintained  very  generally  at  the  more  important 
South  American  cities,  and  local  meat  supplies  are  slaught- 
ered at  these  places  under  municipal  inspection. 


The  fact  that  an  import  trade  in  food  animals  and  meat- 
food  products  has  already  become  well  established  is  shown  in 
the  following  statements,  compiled  from  the  records  of  this 
bureau,  which  cover  the  operations  during  six  months,  from 
October,  1913,  to  March,  1914. 

Imports  of  food  animals  into  the  United  States,  October,  1913,  to  March,  1914. 

Month  and  country  of  export. 






















41, 549 















18, 795 

The  South  American  Meat  Industry. 


Imports  of  food  animals  into  the  United  States,  October,  1913,  to  March,  1914- 


Month  and  country  of  export. 







69, 544 







33, 737 



22,  449 







22, 457 





12, 165 

17, 169 





17, 169 


107,  799 













13, 174 





13, 174 

1  The  figures  for  Mexico  for  March  are  preliminary  and  subject  to  revision. 

Imports  of  meats  and  meat  food  products  into  the  United  States,  October,  1913. 

to  March,  1914. 

Month  and  country  of  export. 

Fresh  and  refriger- 
ated meats. 











2, 069, 794 



559, 843 





2, 115, 864 


148, 127 

2, 501, 108 


559, 843 




16, 316 






6, 000,  735 


Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

Imports  of  meats  and  meat  food  products  into  the  United  States,  October,  191S, 
to  March,  1914 — Continued. 

Month  and  country  of  export. 

Fresh  and  refriger- 
ated meats. 












Other  countries.. 







Other  countries.. 

Total. . 






Other  countries. . . 







Other  countries.. 


March: 1 





Other  countries. . 



3, 988, 898 


1, 681, 156 




179,  727 



611, 701 



204, 716 

897, 143 


2, 048, 475 






130, 176 
357, 178 

484,  774 




471, 140 


;,  935, 797 




110, 054 




977, 746 


278, 751 











959, 955 






478, 834 




28, 498, 280 




124, 041 
















261, 162 


4, 093,  836 

5, 625, 402 

1, 917, 538 





1, 854, 895 




9,  855, 704 


3, 668, 042 



15, 996,  734 






10, 766, 286 


.  265,657 


i  The  figures  for  March  are  preliminary  and  subject  to  slight  revision. 

The  South  American  Meat  Industry.  351 


The  only  South  American  countries  exporting  refrigerated 
meats  are  Argentina  and  Uruguay.  The  large  exporting 
establishments  are  situated  mostly  on  the  River  Plate,  and 
the  frozen  and  chilled  meats  are  in  most  cases  loaded  directly 
into  the  ocean  steamers.  The  export  trade  in  refrigerated 
meats  owes  its  beginning  and  development  to  the  invention 
by  a  French  engineer,  Charles  Tellier,  of  a  system  for  pre- 
serving fresh  meats  by  refrigeration  during  the  time  required 
for  the  ocean  voyage  from  South  America  to  Europe.  The 
pioneer  steamship  in  this  trade,  Le  FrigoriUque,  constructed 
with  refrigerating  facilities  according  to  the  Tellier  system, 
made  a  successful  trial  voyage  with  fresh  meat  from  Rouen, 
France,  to  Buenos  Aires  in  1876.  In  the  following  year  this 
vessel  and  Le  Paraguay  began  the  transportation  of  frozen 
meat  from  Argentina  to  Europe  under  the  respective  man- 
agement of  two  French  firms,  the  Tellier  and  Jullien  com- 
panies, which  were  given  a  five-year  monopoly  by  the 
Argentine  Government. 

Incidentally  it  may  be  noted  that  Tellier,  who  was  known 
as  "the  father  of  cold  storage,"  recently  died  at  an  advanced 
age  in  Paris  in  the  utmost  poverty,  having  refused  proffered 

In  1883  the  frozen-meat  industry  was  definitely  established 
in  Argentina  by  the  erection  of  the  "Campana"  plant,  which 
was  soon  followed  by  other  establishments. 

In  1907  a  United  States  packing  firm  acquired  one  of  the 
Argentine  plants,  and  four  of  the  large  establishments  are 
now  under  United  States  ownership.  English  capital  is  also 
invested  in  several  plants.  The  competition  between  the 
United  States  firms  on  the  one  hand  and  the  native  or  Anglo- 
Argentine  on  the  other  is  very  keen.  These  establishments 
that  prepare  and  export  refrigerated  meats  are  known  as 
"frigorificos."  There  are  now  10  in  Argentina  and  2  in 
Uruguay,  as  shown  in  the  following  list,  compiled  from  the 
report  of  the  Argentine  Commission  to  the  recent  Cold 
Storage  Congress  at  Chicago.  It  is  understood  that  two  new 
plants  in  Argentina  will  soon  be  in  operation  also,  namely,  the 
Union  Cold  Storage  Co.,  at  Zarate,  owned  by  an  English  firm, 
and  the  Compania  Frigorifico  Santiago,  at  La  Plata,  owned 
by  Armour  &  Co. 

352  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

South  American  companies  and  establishments  producing  refrigerated  meats 

for  export. 

Name  of  company. 


stock  (gold) 


Name  of 


The  River  Plate  Fresh  Meat  Co. 

Companfa    Sansinena    de    Carries 



Province  of  Buenos 




Frigorffica  Uruguaya.-i  Uruguay. 

Las  Palmas  Produce  Co.  (Ltd.) — 

Companfa  Argentina  de     Carnes 

La  Plata  Cold  Storage  Co.  (Ltd.). . 

2, 500, 000 


Province  of  Buenos 


La  Blanca 


The    Smithfield    and    Argentine 
Meat  Co.  (Ltd.). 

Sociedad  An6nima  Frigorfflco  Ar- 

The  New  Patagonian  Meat  Pre- 
serving and   Cold   Storage  Co. 
(Ltd.)  (branch  of  La  Plata). 



Rio  Gallegos 


Regarding  the  United  States  ownership  in  the  above  South 
American  refrigerating  companies,  from  our  present  informa- 
tion it  may  be  stated  that  the  two  establishments,  La  Plata 
and  Frigorifico  Montevideo,  the  latter  in  Uruguay,  with  the 
two  branches  in  Patagonia,  are  owned  by  the  Swift  Company; 
the  La  Blanca  plant  is  owned  by  Morris  &  Co.  and  Armour  & 
Co.,  and  the  Frigorifico  Argentino  has  been  leased  by  the 
Sulzberger  Company. 

The  following  table  shows  the  exports  of  Argentine  refrig- 
erated meat  since  the  commencement  of  the  trade.  The  in- 
crease in  chilled  beef  with  a  corresponding  decline  in  frozen 
beef  exports  in  recent  years  shows  a  growing  preference  for 
the  former.  The  great  bulk  of  the  exports  has  gone  to  Eng- 

YearDooK  U.  S.  Dept.  of  Agriculture,  1913. 

Plate  XLVII. 

Fig.  1.— Type  of  Cattle  Slaughtered  for  the  Export  Trade. 

Fig.  2  —Young  Cattle  on  a  Typical  Ranch  in  the  Alfalfa  Region. 

Yearbook  U.  S    Dept.  of  Agriculture,  1913. 

Plate  XLVIII. 

1  ?M%, 



k            -  - 

Fig.  1.— Beef  in  an  Argentine  Frigorifico. 

Fig.  2.— Mutton  in  an  Argentine  FrigorIfico. 

Yearbook  U.  S.  Dept.  of  Agriculture,  1913. 

Plate  XLIX. 

Fig.  1.— Stock  Car. 



"'            S='?^^;,—      |        ^^^5 

•    -  — • 

Fig.  2.— Unloading  a  Train  of  Cattle  from  the  End  Car. 


Yearbook  U    S.  Dept.  of  Agriculture,  1913. 

Plate  L. 

Fig.  1.— Loading  Beef  for  Export  in  Argentina. 

Fig.  2.— Shorthorn  Bull  at  Palermo  Stock  Show,  Argentina.  Sold  at 
Auction  for  $35,000  Gold. 

The  South  American  Meat  Industry. 
Argentine  exports  of  beef  and  mutton. 
























52, 105 





71, 463 




308, 145 



743, 742 





1, 299, 605 




2, 155, 169 















1, 434, 078 



978, 498 


2, 755, 788 
3,  427, 783 











849, 613 





2, 269, 474 



























1913  (6  mos.). 

The  following  tables  show  the  exports  in  detail  of  food 
animals  and  meat  food  products  from  Argentina  in  1912; 
also  the  destination  of  the  principal  items  as  officially  re- 
ported by  the  Argentine  Government : 

Exports  of  food  animals  and  meat  food  products  from  Argentina  in  1912. 




Live  animals: 






70, 175 



















Meat  food  products: 









1, 400, 748 




197, 433 









i  Argentine  gold  peso  equals  $0.9647  United  States. 
-ybk  1913 23 

354  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

Destination  of  principal  meat  food  exports  from  Argentina  in  191t. 











15, 738 





























Dried  beef 





Oleo  stock 



The  total  value  of  all  exports  of  animals  and  animal 
products  from  Argentina  in  1912  as  given  in  the  report 
referred  to  was  $188,215,926  gold,  an  increase  of  $19,821,223 
compared  with  1911.  This  total  includes,  however,  not 
only  food  animals  and  meat  food  products,  but  various 
other  animals  and  products,  such  as  horses,  hides,  wool, 
leather,  and  sundry  other  inedible  products. 


In  September,  1913,  cattle  in  Argentina  that  would 
dress  about  800  to  820  pounds  were  selling  on  the  hoof  at 
$70  to  $80  gold,  with  freight.  This  grade  of  Argentine  beef, 
which  is  of  very  high  quality,  was  selling  in  England  for 
from  8  to  9  cents  a  pound  wholesale.  The  London  quota- 
tions of  October  10,  1913,  for  South  American  dressed  beef 
ranged  from  6 J  to  11  cents  a  pound  for  chilled  beef  and  Q\ 
to  8£  cents  for  frozen  beef.  Besides  the  price  received  for 
the  meat  there  is  a  considerable  return  from  the  hide  and 
offal,  and  since  the  entrance  of  American  packers  into  the 
South  American  trade  these  by-products  are  being  carefully 
prepared  and  utilized. 

A  very  high  quality  of  mutton  is  also  produced  in  Argen- 
tina, but  at  this  time  shipments  were  scarce,  on  account  of 
the  floods  which  were  quite  prevalent  in  sections  of  the 
Province  of  Buenos  Aires  and  farther  south.  London  quo- 
tations for  South  American  mutton  October  10  were  8  to  8$ 
cents  a  pound.  An  idea  of  the  quality  of  the  Argentine  export 
meat  maybe  gained  from  Plates  XL  VII  and  XL  VIII,  although 
in  regard  to  the  cattle  it  may  be  said  that  those  slaughtered 

The  South  American  Meat  Industry.  355 

for  the  refrigerated  trade  are  frequently  in  fatter  condition 
than  is  seen  in  the  illustration. 

The  relative  prices  of  Argentine  beef  and  mutton  on  the 
London  market  on  October  10,  1913,  as  compared  with  the 
prices  of  high-grade  meat  in  the  principal  markets  of  the 
United  States  and  Europe  at  about  the  same  date  were  as 
follows : 

Wholesale  prices  per  pound  of  beef  and  mutton  in  October,  1913. 


Chicago:  Cents. 

Good  native  steers sides. .  12|~13J 

New  York: 

Choice  native  heavy do 13J-14 


English  beef do 11J-13 

South  American  chilled hinds. .  10-11 

Do fores. .  6J-7 

South  American  frozen hinds. .  8£-8J 

Do fores..  6J 


Fat  oxen sides. .  19J-20J 


Beef hinds. .  9f-15J 

Do fores. .  6J-10I 



Good  sheep carcass. .  9$ 

New  York: 

Choice  sheep do 10 


English  wethers do 13-15J 

South  American  frozen do 8-8J 


Fat  wethers do 18-20 


First  quality do. .. .       20-21 


The  quarantine  yards  for  imported  live  stock  were  visited 
on  August  21,  1913.  The  station  is  situated  alongside  the 
docks.  Government  attendants  unload  the  animals,  which 
remain  under  their  supervision  and  care  until  released  from 
quarantine.  Cattle  are  held  in  quarantine  30  days,  sheep 
15  days,  and  hogs  3  days  from  the  time  of  landing.     Neither 

356  Yearbook  of  the  Department  of  Agriculture. 

the  owners  nor  any  of  their